N’Golo Kante has suffered another injury setback in a potential blow to Chelsea ahead of the Europa League final.
The France international had been set to recover from a calf strain in time to face London rivals Arsenal in Baku, having sustained the problem during the Blues’ Premier League clash with Watford in May.
Maurizio Sarri says we are trying to recover N’Golo Kante. He is optimistic Kante can play the final. He is the only injured player who can recover in time. #UELfinal
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 22, 2019
Kante had stepped up his recovery and returned to full training as Chelsea prepare for the Europa League final on Wednesday but, according to Goal, the 28-year-old suffered a fresh knock in training on Saturday which leaves his fitness in doubt ahead of the showdown.
It’s thought the midfielder suffered a blow to his knee which makes his involvement in the game in Baku doubtful after Maurizio Sarri had recently confirmed that he expected Kante to return in time to face Arsenal.
Kante’s potential absence would leave Chelsea significantly short on options in midfield, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek having suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during a recent friendly game against New England Revolution in the United States.
Callum Hudson-Odoi is also ruled out of the final with the same injury, whilst defender Antonio Rudiger has had surgery on a knee problem and will also miss out against the Gunners.
However, young defender Ethan Ampadu has returned from a back injury and is likely to be in the squad to take on Unai Emery’s side.
Arsenal have a number of selection issues themselves, though, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan left out of the squad due to concerns over his safety and security in Baku, whilst Aaron Ramsey, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Denis Suarez remain out for the remainder of the season.