Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed that he will address star midfielder N’Golo Kante’s fitness first and chat with him about his wellbeing before including him in Chelsea’s starting XI against Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Kante has been sidelined since enduring hamstring injury on the international break with France at the start of October, but after missing nearly three weeks came back at Chelsea’s training ground, at Cobham on Saturday and was seen on Monday in Chelsea training in full power, raising hopes that he could be fit to play at Stadio Olimpico.
But with vital Premier League match against Manchester United coming this Sunday and the midfielder just returning from injury, boss Conte recommended that he is cautious about including Kante immediately in the group and will just include him if the midfielder gives him a gesture.
“I think it’s very important, in this moment, to speak with the player and then see his sensation [feeling],” Conte said.
“I was a player and you know very well that, after an injury, above all a muscular problem — a bad injury — it’s very important to listen to the player and what are his sensations and then make the best decision for him, for the team. For sure, tomorrow, we’ll try and make the best decision.”
However, Conte additionally said that midfielder Danny Drinkwater is currently entirely fit for a full match. Drinkwater started in their 2-1 win over Everton in the Carabao Cup last week and furthermore came on as a substitute against Bournemouth to play the last quarter of the match. But the Blues will miss right fullback, Victor Moses, as he is still out injured.
“We’ve recovered Drinkwater and Kante. When you’re out with an injury it takes some time to recover full fitness, though. Moses will need some more time. We’ll try and do our best in every single competition, game by game, in every single one of them.”