N’Golo Kanté did not travel with the team to Wolverhampton for yesterday’s epic midtable showdown of mediocrity at Molineux, but that was thankfully not due to any sort of injury, illness, or setback.
We were simply resting our talismanic midfielder, who had made his first start in over seven months in our previous match, the 0-0 draw against Liverpool on Tuesday.
Frank Lampard confirmed the decision both before and after the game, elaborating a bit in the post-match about our grand plan for the 32-year-old.
“Kanté ... is fit but we know after his injury the idea of game, game, game... [But] N’Golo will be fine as it stands now. Managing him to be fit for the game. Not an issue.”
The other unexpected absence yesterday was Mason Mount, and his status unfortunately is a bit murkier, having suffered a setback in his recovery from a pelvic injury. Injuries in that area (groin, adductor, hip, pelvis) tend to be some of the most annoying in terms of feeling good but still prone to reinjury when not fully healed yet.
“Mason, had a feeling in his pelvic area. Injury that he’s been carrying the last two days. He trained in those two days but was struggling a little bit.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
We won’t be short of numbers either way for the trip to Madrid, but we probably need at least Kanté to have any chance of progressing — and we’re going to need him to turn the clock back to 2021 at least as well.