Graham Potter reveals N’Golo Kante Chelsea injury return date ahead of Leicester City clash
Chelsea star N’Golo Kante is closing in on a much- anticipated return to action after suffering a hamstring injury against Tottenham on August 14 which has seen him miss almost all of the 2022/23 season.
After undergoing surgery to rectify the issue in October, Kante has since been completing his rehabilitation at Cobham and the Frenchman took a significant step towards recovering at the beginning of March. For the first time in seven months, Kante was back out training on the grass, although he only took part in the warm-up drills.
Graham Potter then offered a significant update on Kante which certainly hinted that he had not suffered a reaction to stepping up the intensity of his training. “N’Golo had his first full training session today (March 3) but obviously still needs time,” Potter said.
The key clashes against Leeds and Borussia Dortmund came too soon for Kante but he has completed several first-team training sessions, likely meaning a matchday squad return is close. Due to the length of his absence, Chelsea will likely manage the situation carefully, but Potter revealed on Friday when he hopes to have the 31-year-old back available.
“He won’t be – still needs more time to build up,” the Chelsea head coach revealed when asked if Kante could play on Saturday. “We’re aiming maybe for Everton, unfortunately, not for tomorrow.”
After the Premier League clash with Leicester, the Blues face Everton the following weekend and it could be the perfect game for Kante to make his return. The former Leicester man being absent for the game against his old club is hardly a surprise given he has only had a full week of training, but Potter has also suffered some fresh fitness blows for Chelsea’s trip to the King Power Stadium. Potter added:
“Reece [James] has been ill so hasn’t trained today. He won’t make the game tomorrow. Raheem [Sterling] has had a little feeling in his hamstring, tightness if anything, so he’s looking doubtful. [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang has a slight problem with his back and he’s looking likely he will miss the game.”