Chelsea have ended the tour of Japan on a confidence-boosting note, beating Barcelona 2-1 on Tuesday night, but concerns remain over the one player who missed the game despite initially traveling with the team, N’Golo Kanté. The all-important midfielder was sent back to England over the weekend to continue his recovery from a knee injury that he’s been dealing with for two months.
After the Barcelona win, Lampard explained the decision as mostly precautionary but not without some real concern.
“Yeah, he is okay. It was a decision that I made because I felt that him being here, with the facilities and the moving, travel etc. that we have been doing, it probably wasn’t the most beneficial for him.
”He went back, has had a few days at Cobham, working well, progressing, so hopefully by the time that we get back at the end of the week I will sit down with the doctor to hopefully know that he will be back with us very soon.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
That’s one or two too many hopefullys for comfort.
The concern isn’t really that Kanté won’t be ready for the season if he continues to miss training — Lampard made it clear that he’s not worried about that — but rather that the knee injury will drag on, or worse, require more major intervention.
So, “hopefully” there is indeed some better news awaiting us later this week.