Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri revealed N’Golo Kante could return in time for the Europa League final should they reached it.
After just 10 minutes of action, Kante was forced off with a hamstring problem during Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Watford on Sunday in the Premier League.
The 28-year-old midfielder will now sit out of the second leg of Chelsea’s Europa League clash with Eintracht Frankfurt tonight. He will also be unavailable for the Blues’ final league match of the season at Leicester City this Sunday.
Should Sarri’s men progress to the Europa League final in Baku on May 29, then Kante may recover in time to feature.
“Kante had a problem with his hamstring, not really a very serious one but he needs to rest for a couple of weeks. So we can try to recover him only in case we reach the final,” said Sarri, according to Goal.
Asked if Kante can indeed recover in time for the final, Sarri replied: “We can try. I am not sure, but we can try.”
Victory over Watford moved Chelsea into third place in the Premier League and four points above Arsenal in fifth ahead of the final match of the season.
Therefore, Sarri has achieved his main aim of a top-four finish and a return to Champions League football next season.
Despite wrapping up their main goals, however, Chelsea remain hungry for glory in the Europa League.
“We reached the target of the club, so we are really very happy with this,” said Sarri.
“Now we have to play in another competition and the target is to reach the final – the first target – and the final target will be to win the competition. Our feeling is that we deserve to win a trophy, so it’s a very important match, of course.
“We have to play to win, without managing the results. That’s too dangerous (to do). It’s not easy because we play a very dangerous team, as we saw in the first leg.
“They are very dynamic and aggressive in the defensive phase, and dangerous in the offensive phase especially when they find spaces on the counter-attack. So it’s a dangerous match.”
Chelsea and Eintracht, who are tied 1-1 on aggregate, will face off at Stamford Bridge on Thursday. Kick-off will take place at 21:00 (CET).
— N'Golo Kanté (@nglkante) April 22, 2019