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Kante out until February and Fofana suffers setback, reveals Chelsea boss Potter

Reece James will be available when Chelsea face Bournemouth on Tuesday but N'Golo Kante is out until at least February with his hamstring injury, Graham Potter revealed.

James missed out on Gareth Southgate's England squad for the World Cup in Qatar after sustaining a knee injury in October, leading the right-back to describe himself as "devastated".

Chelsea confirmed James returned to training as the Blues were put through their paces in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, and the 23-year-old could now feature against the Cherries at Stamford Bridge.

However, fellow defenders Ben Chilwell and Wesley Fofana remain unavailable, with the latter suffering a setback in his bid to recover from a knee injury.

"Wesley had a little setback, which can happen. It's a couple of weeks, he won't be available for the game," head coach Potter said on Friday.

"Reece is back in, he's been training and completed 65 minutes in the week [in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Brentford].

"We're still without Ruben [Loftus-Cheek], Ben Chilwell and Kante."

Kante has not featured since Chelsea – then under the leadership of Thomas Tuchel – drew 2-2 with Tottenham in August, and Potter is unlikely to have the midfielder available any time soon.

"He'll be a while, he'll be [back at] the end of February or the start of March," Potter said when asked about Kante's condition. "It's due to the surgery, the minimum period was four months."

Kante's contract with Chelsea expires at the end of the season, and with no new deal agreed, the 2018 World Cup winner has been linked with a move to Barcelona.


However, Potter was unwilling to discuss the midfielder's future, adding: "My focus is just to help him get back fit as soon as possible.

"Everyone knows the quality he has, so it's just about helping him get on the pitch, helping him to get fit, and I'm looking forward to seeing him play football, as we haven't seen him."


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England Fofana James Reece James Wesley Fofana


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