New Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is yet unsure whether N’Golo Kante will be fit in time for their Premier League opener with Manchester United on 11 August. The Frenchman is currently recovering from a knee injury he suffered at the end of last season and also left the preseason tour midway in Japan for treatment.
“That was always the plan [to play 20 minutes],” Lampard told reporters.
“He’s working a little bit now and it was just to give him the feeling of match time as he hasn’t been able to do that yet as it’s an awkward injury.”
The 41-year-old also added that the club will have to be careful enough with the midfielder.
“Who knows if he’ll be ready for next week or not, but we’ll work hard for that.”
“We also have to be a bit careful as he’s played so many games over the past three seasons and we don’t want to rush him back if it’s going to be a negative. We’ll do our best to get him back.”
Kante played a crucial role for the Blues last season as they finished third, ensuring qualification for the Champions League. He made 53 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions last season and helped the club win the UEFA Europa League.