Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel was not able to provide a positive update on N’Golo Kante‘s condition after the midfielder came off injured in Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
The France international performed admirably as part of a midfield duo with Jorginho at Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea found themselves 2-1 up heading into the dying embers of the game.
However, with 85 minutes on the clock, Kante went down on the turf clutching his hamstring, and Tuchel was forced into a late alteration as Conor Gallagher entered the fray.
Without Kante on the pitch, Chelsea conceded a last-gasp equaliser to Harry Kane, and tempers flared at the final whistle as Tuchel and Antonio Conte were both sent off by Anthony Taylor.
Once he was granted a moment to cool off, Tuchel addressed the media in his post-match press conference and admitted that Kante’s injury was a concerning one.
“It seems like a muscle injury, a hamstring. He said he feels it pretty strong, so not good,” Tuchel told reporters when asked for an update on the 31-year-old.
Kante had also played the full 90 against Everton as he attempted to put his various fitness woes behind him, but he could now be set for another lengthy spell in the treatment room.
The World Cup winner has missed a total of 63 matches already for Chelsea through various injury and illness woes, featuring in 261 more and banking 13 goals and 15 assists.
Kante was restricted to just 21 Premier League starts in the 2021-22 season amid his fitness woes, but the former Leicester City man’s injury was not the main talking point at Stamford Bridge.
Emotions boiled over during and after the game between Conte and Tuchel, the latter of whom initially took issue with a perceived foul on Kai Havertz not being flagged before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg‘s goal.
The Lilywhites then equalised through Kane right at the death, despite Cristian Romero appearing to drag Marc Cucurella down by his hair, but Taylor and VAR official Mike Dean saw no issue with the incident.
Tuchel seemingly refused to let go of Conte’s hand as the two managers butted heads once more at the final whistle, but the Blues coach played down the incident after the game.
“I compare it to two players who have a bit of a fight on the pitch but nothing happens, nobody gets injured. It’s Premier League football, the two managers got involved today because both were fighting for our teams. That was it,” Tuchel added.
“Nobody got insulted, we didn’t have a fistfight. For me it’s not a big deal. It was part of the game today. I enjoyed it, I think he enjoyed it as well! It was nothing bad.”
Chelsea will aim to get back to winning ways in the top flight when they make the journey to Leeds United next Sunday afternoon.