Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has revealed N’Golo Kanté is set to miss the next two matches, against West Bromwich Albion and Watford, with a hamstring injury.
The Foxes are two points clear atop of the Premier League table following the last-gasp 1-0 victory against relegation threatened Norwich City on Saturday afternoon.
Kanté, who was substituted for Andy King in the 70th minute, has been playing despite a slight 'problem' in recent weeks and will be given a recuperation period in the midst of Leicester’s title charge.
The 24-year-old Frenchman has attracted the interest of national manager Didier Deschamps ahead of the European Championship this summer following a string of influential displays alongside Danny Drinkwater.
“I think [he] will lose the next two matches, I hope only two,” said Ranieri on Monday afternoon. “It is a little painful in his hamstring. He has been suffering all the season and now it's a little more charged, so we want to give him some rest.
“All the season he had a problem in the other leg, and now in the new leg. Maybe he made some compensation. It's extraordinary but I am very confident because we have King to play with Drinkwater, and I am very confident in him. No other injuries.
“Now I am thinking between Daniel Amartay and Danny Simpson [for the right-back position] and tonight I decide. The day before is okay.”
Ranieri is chasing the first top-flight league title of his 30-year managerial career after near scrapes with glory at Chelsea, Valencia and Roma. Leicester continue to set the pace at the summit despite the 2-1 defeat at Arsenal a fortnight ago but the Italian insists Tottenham and their north London rivals are favourites and anticipates a tough challenge against the Baggies.
He added: “I think Tottenham and Arsenal are favourites. Arsenal have players who can do anything, and they can win every match. When you play against teams like Norwich, and West Bromwich, we had to be patient and find the solution.
“The first match against West Brom was tough. They scored first, and we slowly got better. I am waiting for the same this time. We have to continue to play our football, be intelligent, and take the right moment. What we are doing is important, not the others. West Brom were 3-0 up against Crystal Palace ... they are a very dangerous team.”