Lampard provides Kante fitness update and praises Chelsea midfielder Jorginho’s ‘professionalism’

N’Golo Kante will miss Chelsea’s match with Crystal Palace this week due to a hamstring injury, Frank Lampard has confirmed.

The French defensive midfielder will miss the game on Tuesday after limping off with a knock in the 3-0 victory over Watford on Saturday evening.

Kante went off with 12 minutes to go at Stamford Bridge, and now Blues manager Lampard has said he will miss the London derby and could also be out for the Premier League game at the weekend, against Sheffield United.

Lampard told his pre-match press conference on Monday: “Kante won’t be in the squad. He has hurt his hamstring. It’s a low-level hamstring [injury], so we’re hoping it is a week or so out.

“[Mateo] Kovacic trained with us today but he is not ready for this game, hopefully the next. Tomori is still not ready. He had a small setback in training. Hopefully he is back next week.”

When asked if Kante will be fit for Chelsea’s subsequent match, Lampard said: “We’ll play that one as it goes but I would expect we’d be very lucky to have him for Sheffield United.”

The absence of Kante could open the door for Jorginho, who was a regular before the three-month hiatus forced on the Premier League due to coronavirus, but has not played a single minute since the 2019-20 campaign resumed last month.

Jorginho Chelsea 2019-20

Lampard said the Italy international had taken being dropped on the chin and was training well, but refused to go into details as to why a player signed for £50 million ($63m) in the summer of 2018 has suddenly fallen from favour.

He said of Jorginho: “He has been very professional about it. He wants to play as every player does. It is one of the hardest parts of the job telling a player who is not playing, or picking a squad and leaving out players, particularly when they are training well and Jorginho always trains well.

“He has handled it professionally and that’s what I would expect. It is important for players in a long season, with the competitive squad that we have, that they are there to support players when they are out, and he has done that. So we will see with my selection tomorrow.

“I don’t want to go into the personal details of positions and tactics. I just have to pick a team as I see best. They are just my choices.”

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