Chelsea FC schedule friendly as N’Golo Kante’s injury return timetable is mapped out


helsea have scheduled a friendly match at the club’s training ground this week to help players like N’Golo Kante get back on their feet after the international break.

Kante was named to Chelsea’s squad on Saturday for the first time since his injury against Tottenham last August as he seeks to play a part in the club’s season break-in.

Chelsea still have at least 13 games to play in their campaign, 11 in the Premier League and a double in the Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid, with success in Europe their main focus after a dismal domestic season. The Blues were disappointed to see their three-game winning streak snapped by Everton in the last game before the international break and know there is still a lot of work to do.

The cost of losing two extra points is likely to be felt hard at the end of the season, having also squandered chances against relegation-threatened Southampton, West Ham and Nottingham Forest, and the task doesn’t get any easier. Seven teams from Chelsea’s remaining 11 league games are against teams above them in the Premier League.

As Kante works on a return to fitness, Chelsea are worried about the fitness of defender Wesley Fofana, who had to withdraw from the France squad and is now in the running to face Aston Villa after the international break. His compatriot central defender Thiago Silva is already sidelined immediately.

With so many players in their expensively assembled squad now departing on international duty, Chelsea manager Graham Potter is keen to ensure those remaining at Cobham are in the best possible shape for the final weeks of the season.

“N’Golo needs to continue training Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with potentially a game to give him a few minutes,” Potter said. “We are still planning (who the friendly will be against) but I think it will probably be internal. It will be good.

“We have to control him as much as possible and then I think we have around four players (not on international duty) so that’s what it is.

“We have to hope that the players return injury-free and that we are using the break to refresh ourselves and prepare for a really eventful month of April.”

standard Sport

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