Kante recovery progressing well, says Lampard

Frank Lampard retains hope N'Golo Kante will be fit for Chelsea's Premier League opener against Manchester United on August 11.

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante left the club's tour of Japan to undergo rehabilitation on an issue stemming from the knee injury he suffered late last season.   -  Getty Images

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says N'Golo Kante's recovery from injury is progressing well and hopes the midfielder will be back with the squad soon.

The France international left the club's tour of Japan to undergo rehabilitation on an issue stemming from the knee injury he suffered late last season.

Kante missed multiple matches for club and country throughout May and June – though he started the Europa League final – and missed the Blues' 2-1 friendly win over Barcelona on Tuesday.

Chelsea opens its Premier League campaign against Manchester United on August 11 and Lampard is hopeful the World Cup winner will be available for the fixture.

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"He is okay," Lampard told a media conference. "It was a decision that I made because I felt that him being here, with the facilities and the 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, [he's] working well and progressing, so hopefully by the time that we get back at the end of the week I will sit down with the doctor to hopefully know that he will be back with us very soon."

Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley were on target against Barca in Saitama, but Lampard was quick to rein in expectations after beating the LaLiga champion.

"I won't get carried away with anything about this performance," he added. "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."

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Lampard says he has been impressed with his side's worth ethic during its pre-season campaign so far and expects the team to maintain that intensity in its final warm-up games against Reading, Salzburg and Borussia Monchengladbach.

"In terms of the workload, the players have to get used to it now," he said. "I've set the standard of how I want them to work.

"We've had two difficult games in humidity. The tour has served its purpose. We need to be fit and ready for Manchester United and the clock runs down pretty quickly at this stage. Now, we just have to keep working."