Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is reportedly expected to remained sidelined until at least the start of November.
On August 14, the 31-year-old sustained a hamstring injury during the closing stages of the 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.
At the time, it was predicted that the France international would be ready to return after the September international break, Chelsea beginning a hectic schedule with a trip to Crystal Palace on October 1.
However, despite making a return to training, Kante failed to make an appearance in a matchday squad until Graham Potter provided an update on his fitness ahead of the showdown with AC Milan earlier this week.
On Monday, the Blues head coach told reporters: “N’Golo we are waiting on. He had a reaction in training, so we are just waiting for the news on that.”
“It is certainly not ideal. Disappointing for him and us, so we have to wait and see the extent of it, and then go from there.”
According to L’Equipe, the latest assessment of Kante’s injury is that he faces the prospect of spending further weeks on the sidelines.
The report adds that the Kante’s latest setback casts doubt on his inclusion in France’s squad for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.
Starting from Sunday’s Premier League fixture at Aston Villa, Chelsea are in line to play as many as nine matches up to and including November 12.
Five of those games are scheduled to take place before the end of October, with Kante seemingly expected to now miss games with Brentford, Manchester United, Red Bull Salzburg and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Chelsea begin November with a potentially-crucial Champions League encounter with Dinamo Zagreb and a London derby with Arsenal in the top flight.
The remaining double-header sees Chelsea face Manchester City in the EFL Cup and make the trip to St James’ Park for a Premier League encounter with Newcastle United.
With Didier Deschamps required to name his World Cup squad by November 9, Kante will need to prove his fitness before that date to realistically remain in contention for France’s defence of the crown that they won in 2018.
While Kante has earned a total of 53 caps for his country, just two outings have been made on the international stage during 2022.