N'Golo Kante has flown back to the United Kingdom as he steps up his rehabilitation on a knee injury he sustained towards the tail end of last season.
The injury to the Frenchman occurred during his side's 2-0 over Watford in May, with former manager Maurizio Sarri confessing after the match that he shouldn't have played the 28-year-old.
As a result, the Chelsea midfielder has played no part in his side's pre-season and has traveled back to England to continue working on the problem with the aim of being fit for the coming Premier League season, his club confirmed on their official website.
Frank Lampard's men are currently in Japan where their preparations have taken a less than perfect start. A 1-0 defeat to Kawasaki Frontale on Friday saw the west London side concede a late goal at the Yokohama Stadium courtesy of Leandro Damiao, in front of the 61,012-strong crowd.
For Kante, he watched from the stands but will now also play no part in the Blues' next fixture in the Rakuten Cup, when they take on La Liga champions Barcelona in Saitama on Tuesday night.
Chelsea will then fly home to London after that game, but it is unclear whether Kante will be fit in time to take part in their next friendly against Reading next Sunday. Following the tie against the Royals, Lampard's men will head to Austria and Germany where they will play RB Salzburg and Borussia Monchengladbach respectively.
Given that Lampard will be unable to bring any players in during the transfer window to cover for Kante, he will be crossing his fingers that the World Cup winner will be able to feature against Manchester United on Sunday 11 August, when the Premier League kicks off once again.