N’Golo Kante was a fresh injury doubt for Chelsea’s clash with Norwich City on Saturday as the France international had a disrupted pre-season due to a knee injury and has been eased into the new campaign.

The World Cup winner was given 17 minutes in the 4-0 loss to Manchester United in the Premier League opener but played 120 minutes in the Super Cup against another rivals Liverpool and completed a full game against Leicester City last Sunday.

But the French midfielder was sidelined this weekend as he has suffered an ankle sprain.

‘Kante has got an injury he’s carried all week,’ manager Frank Lampard said on Friday. ‘We’re going to asses that over next 24 hours.’

Frank Lampard also confirmed that key defender Antonio Rudiger remains unavailable, while youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi has impressed after returning to training this week.

‘Callum Hudson-Odoi is training, he’s looking bright and sharp, but we are in the zone of protecting him,’ said the English boss. ‘The intl break comes at a good time in those terms and Reece James’

Frank Lampard has also explained his decision to start Tammy Abraham over Olivier Giroud for the trip to Norwich: “Bringing in Abraham was a choice, Tammy’s mobility to play and cause Norwich problems was what I was thinking of.”

It appeared that Frank Lampard made the right choice as the young English striker opened the score with the goal on the fourth minute and hugged his boss afterwards.

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Nana Kwabena Osafoh
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