Chelsea are reportedly fearful that N'Golo Kante could be sidelined until the end of the month.
Chelsea are reportedly fearful that N'Golo Kante could be sidelined until the end of the month as a result of the hamstring injury he suffered while on international duty with France on Saturday.
Kante, who has played 20 times for his country since making his debut just 19 months ago, lasted only 34 minutes of France's penultimate World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria last weekend and later returned to England to be assessed by Chelsea's medical team.
According to the Daily Telegraph, there are concerns that Kante's hamstring problem is worse than the one currently being nursed by Stamford Bridge colleague Alvaro Morata.
So while the striker could be fit by the middle of next week when Chelsea face Roma in the Champions League, it could be the end of October before Kante is back in action. And that means potentially missing as many as six games in a very busy period.
The reigning Premier League champions only have three league fixtures against Crystal Palace (14th October), Watford (21st October) and Bournemouth (28th October). But those are interspersed among midweek commitments in the Carabao Cup and Champions League.
Chelsea face a cup contest against Everton on Wednesday 25th October, with home and away European ties with Roma coming on the 18th and 31st of the month.
With Kante temporarily out of the picture, there could be an opportunity for former Leicester colleague Danny Drinkwater to make an impression after so far failing to even get on the pitch since his summer move as a result of injury.
A start against Crystal Palace this weekend is unlikely, but Drinkwater has been tipped to at least return to the squad and so a debut as a substitute, six weeks after he joined the club, is possible.