What's the story?
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has given a fitness update on club's first-team stars N'Golo Kante and Pedro. According to the former midfielder, both the players are unlikely to feature next week, with the international break set to be used to help them boost their respective recoveries.
In case you didn't know...
Kante has endured a frustrating start to the season, as an injury sustained during the Europa League final stalled his pre-season.
To add to his and the club's misery, after a couple of starts against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup final and Leicester City in the Premier League, the central midfielder picked up an ankle injury that kept him out of the game against Norwich City.
Pedro meanwhile, saw himself ruled out of the same fixture just minutes before kick-off, owing to a hamstring pull experienced while training. Due to the setback, Lampard was forced to slot in Ross Barkley in an advanced position.
The heart of the matter
Speaking on the Spaniard's situation, Lampard remarked:
"Pedro picked up a hamstring injury and we will assess the severity of it over the next couple of days, but I think it will be tough for him to be back for next week at first glance.
We obviously then have the international break, so that might help, but we will be trying to get him back as quickly as possible because he’s an important player."
According to the Chelsea manager, it's highly difficult for Kante to return before next week's Premier League fixture. He added:
"It’s a difficult one with N’Golo because he’s had four years of constant playing. We knew he had that injury from the Europa League final last season, which affected his pre-season, and then he picked up an ankle injury last week.
He’s trying and we are trying to get him through it, but the game yesterday just came too quickly and he was in too much pain."
Hinting at Kante's probable return, he concluded:
"But again he is one to assess and we want him back in the team because he’s an important player. I think the international break will be great for him, to try and recover him."
Lampard and co., who are without a host of important players such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi and the aforementioned, host newcomers Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge next week, on August 31.