Chelsea Injury Update: N'Golo Kante flies back to the UK, more on Kepa and Tammy Abraham
What's the story?
Frank Lampard and Chelsea have been dealt with a meaty blow, as N'Golo Kante has flown back to London to continue his rehabilitation for a knee injury. The strain that he endured towards the end of last season has worsened, as a result of which the Frenchman has departed the training camp at Japan.
Meanwhile, Tammy Abraham and first team goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga are back and training with the squad after having recovered from illness.
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The Blues are presently conducting their pre-season in Japan. They played their first fixture at the Yokohama International Stadium against Kawasaki Frontale, which also resulted in Lampard's first defeat as Chelsea boss.
While Kante had involved himself, Abraham and Kepa did not feature in the previous game due to illness.
The heart of the matter
Speaking on the two, Lampard had earlier revealed:
"The illnesses aren’t related. Tammy Abraham has tonsillitis and Kepa reported a stomach bug this afternoon. I’m not a doctor but it probably comes a little bit alongside what I mentioned before about players not sleeping and finding it difficult in different ways, and it’s come out in those two players.
I don’t expect either of them to be too long. I know Tammy is already on the mend. Hopefully both are in contention for Barcelona next week."
Meanwhile, towards the end of the recently concluded season, Kante sustained a knee injury that also kept him out of a few matches. He began to train with the squad a few days back, but his pre-season has been cut short.
Now hopefully, the club will hope he returns to the squad ahead of the friendlies against Reading (in England), Red Bull Salzburg (Austria) and Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany).
The rest of the squad is fit, with Willian expected to join them soon.
It's most likely that Kante will travel with the squad only once and not repeatedly, as the club would want their best midfielder to recharge his batteries and reach full fitness.
The clash against Barcelona is scheduled on 23 July at the Saitama Stadium.