Mendy back in Chelsea squad and Kante ‘getting closer’

Chelsea boss Graham Potter says N’Golo Kante is “getting closer” to returning to first-team action, while goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is set to be part of the squad to face AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Mendy has been struggling with a knee injury suffered in the win over West Ham last month.

Kante, meanwhile, has been taking part in some training sessions as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

“He (Mendy) has been training with the team the last few days and has made good progress, so he’ll be in the squad, which is great news for us,” Potter said.

“It’s really important to have as much competition for places as we can, so it’s great to have him back.

“NG is training more and more. Not fully, but getting closer, so that’s really positive.

“It’s just a case of building him up. It won’t be a case of ‘oh, now he’s fit and now he can play 90 minutes every three days’.

“We have to be careful with how we build his minutes up. That’s the next challenge. It’s okay rehabilitating but now it’s game time and how you get game time in the Premier League – bit by bit, I think.

“So we have to be patient with him but we’re under control with that I think and we’ll do our best.”

Jorginho and Kai Havertz have also been nursing knocks but have been training with the team this week.

“Jorginho felt a little bit of discomfort in his abdominal area against Crystal Palace but has trained so we’ll see how he reacts to that,” Potter explained. “We’ll take a decision later on.

“Kai had a slight feeling as well, but again trained, so apart from that we’re all okay.”