N’Golo Kante returns for Chelsea in friendly behind closed doors
N’Golo Kante played his first minutes since August in a behind-closed-doors friendly for Chelsea on Friday.
The French midfielder injured his hamstring just two games into the current campaign and ultimately required surgery which has kept him out ever seen, meaning he is yet to play a minute under current manager Graham Potter.
With most of his teammates away with their international sides, Kante was given 60 minutes in a friendly against a Charlton XI on Friday.
The Blues’ squad was made up largely of academy players, with Silko Thomas, Malik Mothersille and Dion Rankine all scoring in a 3-0 win.
Importantly, Kante is understood to have made it through the game unscathed, with Potter now able to start thinking about the veteran midfielder’s eventual return to competitive action.
Kante has been training with Chelsea for the past few weeks and even made the bench for the 2-2 draw with Everton before the international break, although Potter opted against rushing the 31-year-old back into action.
Injuries have been a major problem for Kante over the past few years, although such an extended absence is a rarity as the midfielder has instead been hampered by countless smaller issues.
A plan was drawn up to manage his return to action, with Potter keen to welcome Kante back into the fold ahead of a crucial few months.
When will N’Golo Kante return from injury?
Kante may now be available for Chelsea’s return to domestic action against Aston Villa on April 1.
He could see plenty of minutes in the weeks that follow, with the Blues facing Liverpool, Wolves, Real Madrid and Brighton in the first half of the month.