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Lampard handed Kovacic injury worry as another Chelsea star set to miss rest of season



IMAGO / Sportimage

Mateo Kovacic handed Chelsea an injury blow during their draw against Nottingham Forest after Frank Lampard also “pretty much” ruled N’Golo Kante out of the rest of the season.

The Croatia international pulled up just before the half-time interval and was eventually replaced by Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Chelsea went onto draw the game 2-2 following Raheem Sterling’s brace as Taiwo Awoniyi’s doubled cancelled out the hosts to claim another point to boost their Premier League survival bid with two games to go in Steve Cooper’s side’s season.

Lampard was asked on the 29-year-old’s condition post-match but he was unable to offer a clear assessment. It will though offer concern to the Chelsea caretaker boss over his availability for the final week of the season, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle United awaiting.

“I don’t know,” responded Lampard on Kovacic’s condition. “I know he had a bit of an issue going into the game. It was clear yesterday in training. I spoke to him before to see how it went.

He added: “I haven’t followed it up since the game to be honest. We hope he’s okay. Our midfield numbers are going down. But we keep going.”

Meanwhile, out of contract N’Golo Kante looks to have played his final game of the season for Chelsea. He was absent for the draw on Saturday and Lampard revealed the France international picked up a groin injury in training on Friday.

He is now expected to be sidelined for a couple of weeks, which will mean he will play no further part this season.

Lampard said: “We lost N’Golo in training yesterday, he felt something in his groin, so that’s probably a couple of weeks and we know what that means pretty much. So we just have to keep going.”

Should Kante not agree a new contract, he will have played his last game for Chelsea. However, the Blues, and expected incoming boss Mauricio Pochettino who is a fan, are keen on him staying with talks already taking place over a new deal.