N’Golo Kanté missed the match against Crystal Palace over the weekend with what was at first described by Thomas Tuchel as just “some problem” in the pre-match press conference.
The head coach has since given a bit more information on the situation. It turns out that Kanté was doubtful because of an ankle problem that he picked up just prior to the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday. The 30-year-old midfielder pushed through it at the time, which gave him the opportunity to lead the team out as captain and lift yet another trophy some two hours later.
But as it often happens with these things, one must pay the price for pushing past physical limits. The problem didn’t magically go away just with the adrenaline rush of match action. So now we wait and hope that some actual rest will have done the trick.
“N’Golo felt discomfort in his ankle on Friday. He felt it in the warm-up to the Super Cup match against Villarreal and he already played a little bit in pain and overcame the pain in that game. But on Friday he felt it again and we decided to take him out and not to take any risk now at the beginning of the season.
“I think N’Golo will be back in the middle of the week to hopefully be ready for Arsenal.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Chelsea FC
After two days off on Sunday and Monday, the squad return to training on Tuesday — including Romelu Lukaku! — with the Arsenal match coming up on Sunday.
Needless to say, we need to take it easy with N’Golo —we don’t want a repeat of 2019-20. It’s a long season and we don’t really have a backup for him.