Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has confirmed star midfielder N'Golo Kanté is nearing a return following a protracted injury layoff.
Kanté has remained sidelined with a groin problem he picked up on international duty. However, Lampard was able to offer a positive note in the wake of the Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester United, claiming the Frenchman will soon return to first-team training.
"He’s hopefully training again in the next two or three days," confirmed Lampard, as quoted by Metro.
"He’s a top player. I would have liked to give Jorginho and Kovacic a rest tonight for what they’ve put in, for their physical output. But I couldn’t because N’Golo, Ross, Ruben…I couldn’t make those changes today and that what it is."
Meanwhile, the Blues' manager confessed there was no stopping Marcus Rashford's sublime winning goal for United on Wednesday night, as Chelsea were knocked out of the Carabao Cup 2-1 by the Red Devils.
Michy Batshuayi had clawed the Blues back into the game to cancel out Rashford's first-half penalty, but the England striker unleashed a monstrous 35-yard free-kick in the second period to ensure the Red Devils went into the hat for the quarter finals.
An exciting game at Stamford Bridge looked like heading for penalties until the United number ten's intervention. Such was the majesty of Rashford's strike that Lampard admitted it was unsaveable, instead opting to praise the strike and hail the 22-year-old's technique for what was arguably his best goal for the club.
"Well, the second goal doesn't even come into the equation," Lampard said post-match, as quoted by Manchester Evening News.
"That is just a bolt out of the blue. No team can stop that. I think in terms of where we weren't at our best, we were a little slow with our passing in the first-half. It's great technique. We've seen Marcus Rashford hit balls with a similar technique. Whoever you are in the world they don't always go into the top corner."