Graham Potter has confirmed that N’Golo Kante is a chance to return for Chelsea this week, as his side take on Everton at Stamford Bridge.
Kante has not featured since August as a result of a hamstring problem and has not made an appearance since Potter’s appointment as Chelsea manager.
The France international is out of contract at the end of the season and his future remains uncertain, but Potter expressed his delight at Kante’s return to fitness as Chelsea look to record a fourth consecutive win in all competitions.
“There is a chance for him to be in the squad,” Potter told his pre-match press conference.
“It would be the first time [since Potter took charge] so it’s fantastic. Managers before me have spoken very highly of N’Golo because he’s a top, top player.
“He’s been a huge miss to us. That’s not to say the other players haven’t given absolutely everything because they have, but N’Golo Kante is N’Golo Kante. A top player.
“It’s great for us he’s back. We need to be mindful of the fact he’s had a long injury and we need to take the next steps to get him up to speed in the Premier League, which is what we’ll do.”
Potter added an update on the rest of the Chelsea squad and confirmed Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount will not link up with England during March’s international break. Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta also remain out.
“Raheem [Sterling’s] problem with his hamstring is not too serious but he’ll miss the game at the weekend and he’ll miss the international trip,” Potter said.
“Same as Mason [Mount], he has been struggling a bit with his pubic bone. He wasn’t 100% the last game, still not quite there so he’ll miss the England camp as well. Thiago [Silva] is still away, Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta] is still away.