- Kante sidelined since mid-August
- Underwent hamstring surgery in October
- Could return to full training this week
WHAT HAPPENED? The 31-year-old returned to the pitch last week to carry out individual work, but the hope is that he will be back to full training alongside his Chelsea team-mates by the end of this week, football.london have revealed. Kante is returning from surgery he received on his hamstring back in October, which head coach Graham Potter revealed could keep him out until as late as March.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Frenchman hasn't played since sustaining the injury in a 2-2 draw against rivals Tottenham back in August, when former manager Thomas Tuchel was still in charge. Some 179 days later and Chelsea have finally received some positive news in that regard, and it couldn't have come a moment too soon.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Despite the recent mega-money acquisition of Enzo Fernandez from Benfica, Chelsea's midfield has been relatively threadbare of late. The recent sale of Jorginho to Arsenal alongside the injury woes of Mateo Kovacic and Denis Zakaria - who is nursing a hamstring problem himself - led Potter to start last Friday's match against Fulham with forward-thinking Mason Mount and Conor Gallagher further back in a midfield three, an unusual combination that seems unlikely to garner much success long-term.
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty ImagesCHELSEA FCGetty
WHAT NEXT FOR KANTE? While the Frenchman is thought to be set to return to training by the end the week, there is no concrete date for his return to match action, with Chelsea's fixture against West Ham on Saturday certainly coming too soon.