N’Golo Kante’s injury issues stretch back all the way to last season’s Europa League final, and while Chelsea boss Frank Lampard claims that Kante’s current ailment doesn’t relate to that initial knee problem, it’s obviously been a cascading series of problems that have kept the midfielder sidelines for much of the time ever since. His current injury may not be a knee issue per se, but it’s quite likely that one injury has lead to another either directly (compensating for the injured body parts with healthy ones) or indirectly (missing games, lacking fitness, pushing too hard, etc).
It’s one of the reasons why Lampard has repeatedly assured that Chelsea are taking it slowly with Kante this time, though the all-important midfielder has traveled with the squad to Lille after coming through training “okay” on Tuesday.
“He trained this morning and he got through okay. He is still one we have to assess in the morning but we are positive he will be fit to play.
“The injury doesn’t relate to the Europa League final. What that injury did do, regardless of whether he played that game, meant he had a broken pre-season. It’s a slight domino effect. The main injury is now feeling good, but he’s probably got a couple of niggles since that, and a tackle at Manchester United in the first game that affected him on the ankle. There’s a bit of bad luck in there as well.
“Everyone is working towards getting him regularly fit so he can play continuous games, and I’m hoping that’s coming really soon.”
-Frank Lampard; source: 5th Stand
Indeed, it is that “domino effect” that’s concerning, as the series of injuries have limited Kante to just three games and one substitute appearance, and he wasn’t even truly fully fit for those. With two games this week before a two-week international break, perhaps giving him this time to get healthy and actually injury-free, would be ultimately most beneficial for the season ahead.