Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kanté has returned to full-contact Chelsea training ahead of the Premier League’s restart.
The Frenchman was initially given permission to miss earlier training sessions, after expressing concern towards working during the coronavirus outbreak. However, he has been keeping fit in individual work at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground.
Since then, the Premier League have communicated more safety procedures to all players and coronavirus tests have all been negative during the last few rounds of testing, and The Telegraph note that Kanté is now confident enough to return to normal training with the rest of his squad.
Kanté did not take part in the in-house friendly at Stamford Bridge on Saturday but joined up with the squad on both Monday and Tuesday for full-contact training sessions.
Manager Frank Lampard is keen to avoid putting pressure on Kanté and has instead informed the Frenchman that he will be allowed to reintegrate himself at his own pace – something which has helped the midfielder feel comfortable once more.
Kanté is not expected to be fit enough to feature in Chelsea’s first Premier League game, which will come against Aston Villa on 21 June, but there are enough encouraging signs to suggest that he could be ready soon after.
The 29-year-old’s return will come as a huge boost to Lampard and his side’s chances of finishing in the top four. Fellow midfielder Mason Mount confessed that the Blues are looking strong and ready for a real battle for the remainder of the season.
“To get the games back is great and it’s something we all wanted if it was possible,” Mount said. “We all love playing games and representing Chelsea in the Premier League and we are all looking forward to getting started again.
“It’s been a long time since we played and the two months we had away in lockdown certainly seemed like such an age! So it’s been great to be able to get back out on the pitch at Cobham and do what we love.
“I think I speak on behalf of all the boys when I say we had to ensure we stayed fit during the lockdown, ready for when we could go back to work. It was important to remain active and to be honest, I think most footballers find it difficult to stay too far away from a football. I know I’ve been kicking one around my house all the time.
“Training has been great, and the boys are looking sharp. I think at the start, having been away for so long, there was a little rustiness to shake off but we are back to normal now and raring to go again.”
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