Ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League fixture at Aston Villa FC on Sunday, Blues boss Graham Potter met the media for his weekly Friday press conference.
The main takeaways from the session centered around a trio of very important, but also injured players: summer signing Wesley Fofana (knee), midfield maestro N’Golo Kante (hamstring) and superstar fullback Reece James (knee). The news, all around, was not good.
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Here’s the latest on the triad, with the updates from straight from the gaffer’s mouth.
It was initially thought that the English international had not sustained serious damage against AC Milan. However, it has since been learned that he suffered ligament damage in his knee, and now a decision must be made. Will he need surgery?
If surgery, how long is the timetable for recovery?
He could miss the World Cup now.
“He is due to see a specialist over the weekend,” Potter said.
“Until we get that information, there’s not too much I can add. We will wait and see. He spoke yesterday and felt not too bad. But until you get these things checked, you never know.”
Kanté has not featured since August 14, when the Blues drew Tottenham 2-2. He continues to be very injury-plagued, at this stage in his career, and he’s sidelined once again this weekend. He suffered a setback in his recovery this week and may not feature until 2023.
“He’s due to see a consultant this weekend,” Potter said. “It’s not good news.”
Fofana has a knee injury that could keep him out until Boxing Day, maybe longer. Potter essentially ruled him out for the long term today.
“I don’t think we will see him before the World Cup,” Potter said.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.Follow paulmbanks