Frank Lampard has been juggling a large number of players in training camp so far, but one prominent absentee has been N’Golo Kanté. While he’s been with the team since Monday, he’s been training on his own all week. Like on Wednesday, he did not feature in Chelsea’s friendly earlier today.
Afterwards, Lampard confirmed the reports that we are taking it easy and safe with our all-important midfielder, who’s still recovering from the knee injury that almost caused him to miss the Europa League final (and probably should’ve caused him to miss it).
“N’Golo’s good. He’s been training with the physios on his own this week, still feeling the effects on his injury from the end of last season and the Europa League final.
“We just want to be careful with him. It’s not a problem. We know he’s a fit boy, we know he’s got a great attitude, and the last thing I wanted to do was to push him too early. When the injury feels like it’s alright — hopefully next week in Japan — we’ll start to bring him back into full training.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea TV
Kanté’s the one player we definitely should not be taking any risks with, especially in preseason. The man pulled off a superhuman effort to play the full 90 in the Europa League final, keying yet another trophy win — his third in three seasons at Stamford Bridge. If we are to have any hopes of adding to that tally, or just to have a decent season in general, we’re going to need him.
As Lampard says, Kanté’s attitude, stamina, and overall quality is unquestionable. We just need him to be fit and firing during the actual season itself, not right now.