Well, this is certainly not good.
As confirmed on the official Chelsea website, N’Golo Kanté has been sent back to England from the tour of Japan to “continue his rehabilitation for an injury connected to the knee problem he sustained at the end of last season”.
And while that sounds innocent enough, the bad news hiding between the lines is that it’s a definite step back in Kanté’s rehab. He had been slated to make his preseason debut in Tuesday’s match against Barcelona, after sitting out the first three friendlies. He had traveled with the team to both Dublin and Japan, but had just recently re-joined first-team training after working on his own fitness program for the first week.
Lampard has repeatedly made it clear that Chelsea will not take any risks with the all-important midfielder and won’t rush him back for any reason, and this undoubtedly is part of that intention. Hopefully it’s nothing more serious than that. Kanté has been trying to recover from this supposedly minor knee injury for two months now.
In better news, both Kepa Arrizabalaga and Tammy Abraham have recovered from the ailments that had caused them to miss Friday’s friendly against Kawasaki Frontale, and were full participants in training on Sunday.