Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante is facing almost a month on the sidelines with a muscular injury he picked up during the global break, his manager Antonio Conte said ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Crystal Palace.
Kante was forced off during the first half of France's win over Bulgaria last weekend, and it was soon suggested that the 26-year-old would be absent from Chelsea's Premier League clash at Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
That would include two Champions League dates with Roma, Premier League matches against Watford and Bournemouth and a League Cup tie against Everton. "From the previous scan, maybe he will be out for around 20 or 21 days", Conte told reporters on Friday. It's a big loss for us because you know the importance of Kante in our team.
"We are going to do a scan next week to check his situation to see if he is improving". We must have patience with him and with this calf problem.
"We're talking also to adapt a player who for me is very important [as a] central defender", Conte said of Luiz.
"It will be very hard play Fabregas and Bakayoko for seven games in a row and we must hope we don't get any more injuries during this time".
Kante's injury is also an ill-time blow for Conte as Danny Drinkwater also remains on the sidelines due to another injury which has prevented him from making his debut for Chelsea since joining the Blues from Leceister on deadline day.
"For sure we are not lucky in this period because of all our midfielder we only have Bakayoko and Fabregas available".
"We approach seven games and we will have to use other players in this area, defenders, young players". When I chose to utilise him in midfield against Tottenham, could be an option if I decide to play three midfielders.