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When Graham Potter hopes N’Golo Kante will be able to make his first Chelsea appearance after hamstring injury



(Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

Graham Potter has outlined when he hopes N’Golo Kante could make his return to the Chelsea matchday squad after a hamstring injury which has kept him out since August.

The 31-year-old has not featured since Chelsea drew 2-2 to Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge, limiting him to just two Premier League appearances this term.

Kante was forced off with a hamstring problem and was only expected to be out for several weeks, however a setback saw the France international have to undergo surgery which ruled him out for a further four months.

He has started to make his way back to full fitness having gone from light individual training work to rejoining the first-team squad for full training last week.

Kante has been with the squad in the build up to their Premier League clash against Leicester City, but Potter confirmed he wouldn’t be available to face the Foxes.

But his return date has now been set and it’s hoped he will be fit enough to make the matchday squad at least when Everton travel to the capital next weekend.

“He won’t be (available against Everton), still needs more time to build up,” the 47-year-old confirmed on Friday during his pre-match press conference. “We are aiming maybe for Everton. Unfortunately, not for tomorrow.”

Prior to Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night, Potter outlined the complexity of Kante’s lengthy absence and all of the factors they need to consider before they give the green light for the midfielder to return to action.

“It’s a complex one with him because he has had a long time out,” responded the Chelsea head coach on the handling of Kante’s recovery.

“So he’s back in full training but then it’s how we get him up to speed to play in the Champions League or Premier League. That is when he needs a bit of time with the group, a bit of time in training, and we’ll need to build his minutes up.

“He won’t be able to go straight in for 90 minutes any time soon but the fact he is training and with us, the fact he is training, is exciting.”

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