Frank Lampard says he is “hopeful” N’Golo Kante will be fit for the start of the season.
Chelsea midfielder Kante has been struggling with a knee problem since May and has not featured at all during pre-season.
But Blues boss Lampard believes the Frenchman could be available for Chelsea’s opening game, at Manchester United on 11 August.
“That one I’ll have to assess next week and see how it is,” Lampard added.
“There are 50 to 60-odd games coming this season so I have to make sure I make the right call on that, because the players here have been training very hard.”
Kante recently returned early from Chelsea’s pre-season trip to Japan in order to have treatment back at the club.
Lampard said: “It was certainly the right decision for him to come back here and get the treatment that he had.
“I expect him to be training through the week with us to the point that next week he should be training fully.”