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Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is reportedly set to be sidelined for the rest of the month after picking up a hamstring injury while on international duty with France.
According to Andrew Dillon in The Sun, following assessment back at the Blues’ training ground, it is feared the 26-year-old could be out for up to three weeks, meaning he could miss all of Chelsea’s six remaining games in October.
That includes home and away clashes against Roma in the UEFA Champions League (on Oct. 18 and 31, respectively) as well as Premier League matches with Crystal Palace, Watford and Bournemouth and a Carabao Cup fixture against Everton.
Frenchman Kante picked up the knock playing for his national side against Bulgaria in FIFA World Cup qualifying on Saturday.
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The sight no C̶h̶e̶l̶s̶e̶a̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶F̶r̶a̶n̶c̶e̶ football fan wants to see: N’Golo Kante goes off injured in Bulgaria. https://t.co/v7S7CXdXD3
He was replaced by Adrien Rabiot after 34 minutes of Les Bleus’ 1-0 win in Sofia and was not included in the France squad for their Tuesday match with Belarus, in which they prevailed 2-1.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has quality central midfield cover in his squad, including Tiemoue Bakayoko, Cesc Fabregas and Danny Drinkwater.
However, Kante is arguably Chelsea’s most important player given his work rate and contributions in both defence and attack.
He will be sorely missed by the Blues, especially given the congested nature of their fixture list in the second half of October.
Saturday’s Premier League clash with bottom-of-the-table Palace should present few problems despite the absence of Kante, but the European clashes against in-form Roma could prove a greater challenge without the former Leicester City player’s influence.