Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante might be forced to watch the FIFA World Cup at home due to hamstring injury
The France midfielder has been sidelined for yet another four weeks just weeks after returning to training
Kante will join Paul Pogba as another France player expected to miss the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante faces a race against time to recover from his latest injury setback in time to feature in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar next month.
The France international hasn’t featured for Chelsea since the second game of the Premier League season, in which he picked up a muscle injury which has seen him miss the start of Graham Potter’s tenure at Stamford Bridge.
Kante sustained the injury during Chelsea’s draw with London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in August. He was substituted in the 84th minute and replaced by youngstar Conor Gallagher.
The 31-year-old underwent regular rehab sessions with the club’s medical staff and did return to training at Chelsea’s training center Cobham late in September and had been hinted to return in the recent 2-0 victory over AC Milan, only to aggravate his hamstring issue in the build-up to the game and return to the sidelines.
While there has been no official confirmation of his recovery timeline from Chelsea, L’Equipe claim Kante is facing at least another two weeks on the sidelines, which will see the midfielder miss another five games across all competitions this month and early November.
Even if Kante recovers on schedule, he would then have just one match to prove his fitness before Didier Deschamps names his France squad for the World Cup on November 9 – Chelsea face Arsenal in the Premier League on November 6 before a Carabao Cup clash with Manchester City on the evening of Deschamps’ announcement date.
With a number of injuries blighting the French squad in recent months, it is understood that Deschamps will decline to select any player whose fitness is in question, meaning Kante will be in a real rush to prove himself.
The former Leicester City man hasn’t played for his country since early June, missing Les Bleus’ last five matches because of various injury concerns.
With both Kante and midfield partner Paul Pogba injured, Deschamps has handed opportunities to the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Youssouf Fofana and Matteo Guendouzi, who have combined to mixed results as France head into the World Cup on a run of just one win from six games.
It should be noted that amidst the injury issues surrounding Kante, the midfielder has entered the final 12 months of his existing contract with Graham Potter’s side and could therefore depart as a free agent at the end of the season.
Should Kante fail to pen fresh terms by January, he can enter pre-contract negotiations with foreign clubs, and he is not expected to be short of offers despite his injury problems because of his ability in the pitch.
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