Chelsea manager Frank Lampard expects N’Golo Kante to be back in full training next week ahead of their clash with Manchester United.
The Frenchman returned early from the club’s tour of Japan in order to undergo further treatment on a knee injury.
Lampard has revealed that Kante has already made the first steps back into training with the squad, but it will still be touch and go as to whether he’ll make the United fixture:
“He is training. He has dipped into training with us in the last couple of days. There is a lot more that he needs to do physically, off without us that he can do without any contact which has been good but the signs are good in the last three days that we have been back.”
“It was certainly the right decision for him to come back here and get the treatment that he had. I expect him to be training through the week with us to the point that next week he should be fully training.”
The Blues will be hesitant to rush the 28-year-old back to fitness with the knee issue having already taken longer to heal than expected.
Kante originally sustained the problem before the Europa League final back in May but was cleared to play in the 4-1 win over Arsenal.
If Lampard opts to play two holding midfielders at Old Trafford, you could see either Tiemoue Bakayoko or Danny Drinkwater play alongside Mateo Kovacic.
Both players have been tipped to leave Stamford Bridge in recent days but they featured in the 4-3 friendly win against Reading yesterday.