The Frenchman has been struggling with a knee injury he picked up on the eve of Chelsea’s 4-1 Europa League final win over Arsenal in May, and is unlikely to start against Manchester United on the first day of the season.
Kante is yet to feature for Chelsea since Lampard took charge, with the manager deciding to send the France international home before Chelsea beat Barcelona 2-1 in the Rakuten Cup friendly clash in Saitama.
“He is okay,” Lampard said in his post-match press conference. “It was a decision that I made because I felt that him being here, with the facilities and the moving and travel that we have been doing, it probably wasn’t the most beneficial for him.
“He went back, has had a few days at Cobham (Chelsea’s training base), working well, progressing, so hopefully by the time that we get back at the end of the week I will sit down with the doctor and hopefully know that he will be back with us very soon.”
Goals from Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley were enough to seal victory for Chelsea against a Barcelona side where Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie De Jong were making their first appearances. Ivan Rakitic managed to score a sumptuous consolation strike in the closing stages.
With a number of players looking to impress the new manager this pre-season, after returning from various loan spells, Lampard insists he isn’t looking too much into their performances so soon before the season starts.
“I won’t get carried away with anything about this performance,” he said
“Tammy’s a goalscorer and he’s hungry for goals. Now it’s his time to prove it for Chelsea. To get his goal will put him in good stead. There’s competition.
“Mason’s had a great trip and he’s announced himself into the first-team squad.”
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