Boost for Chelsea as N’Golo Kante steps up recovery from injury in behind-closed-doors friendly

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Chelsea manager Graham Potter will be delighted that midfielder N’Golo Kante is mighty close to first team football.

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante stepped up his recovery from his hamstring injury by playing in a behind-closed-doors game against Charlton at Cobham in the rain on Friday afternoon.

Kante has not featured for Chelsea since August last year in the 2-2 draw against Tottenham in the Premier League, that was only the second game of the campaign.

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Since then, the French midfielder has missed the World Cup and has seen attempts to return to the field almost always met with a certain level of push back from his hamstring.

In his absence, Chelsea have slipped to 10th on the Premier League table and have signed 2022 World Cup winning Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernadez for a British record fee.

Kante made his first turn out of the year when he was named on the bench for the Premier League game against Everton just before the international break at Stamford Bridge- but he failed to even cameo as Everton silenced the home crowd with a late equaliser to snatch a point and deny Chelsea a winning end to what had been an encouraging March.

Other Chelsea members who are expected to have featured in the friendly very Charlton include Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling who are both working their way back to full fitness.

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The international break has certainly provided manager Graham Potter the chance to get players back for what is often referred to as the business end of the season.

Against Everton defender Wesley Fofana also picked up a hamstring injury which has ruled him out for around 10 days while Mason Mount who has missed the last four games has battled illness and  injury.

N’Golo Kante’s return could be season-defining with the Champions League quarter final game against Real Madrid on the horizon.

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