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Chelsea’s Ngolo Kante and Edouard Mendy

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By DAVIDSON ABRAHAM, Middle East

Chelsea have continued to struggle with injuries to key players throughout the start of the new season, most notably to N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy.

After nearly a month without a Premier League match, it has given Potter plenty of time to work with his new players on the training ground and assess his options ahead of his first domestic match in charge as Chelsea boss.

The absence of fixtures have allowed unfit members of the squad to close in on a return to action against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Both Kante and Mendy were ruled out of the Champions League draw against RB Salzburg after sustaining knocks prior to Potter’s arrival as Thomas Tuchel’s replacement.

Here is the latest update on the pair’s injuries:

N’Golo Kante

Chelsea released eagerly anticipated footage of Kante in training this week as the midfielder nears a return to competitive action. 

Didier Deschamps left the 31-year-old out of his France squad for fixtures against Austria and Denmark, allowing time for him to work on getting fit for a period of nine matches in October, which could define the early stages of Potter’s reign and his side’s season.

Despite being considered a key player at Stamford Bridge, Kante is out of contract at the end of the season and will be able to negotiate a free transfer in January. It is believed fitness issues have not reduced a long list of potential suitors.

Edouard Mendy

Mendy could be available for the short trip to face Patrick Vieira’s side this weekend, having been sidelined the final match of Tuchel’s Chelsea tenure with injury. He found himself on the bench against Zagreb due to a combination of a knee injury and the chance to give Kepa game-time, 

Should Mendy feature against Palace, it will be his 100th appearance in Chelsea colours, during which time he has kept 49 clean sheets.

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