Tuchel hopeful Kante has not suffered new injury

Thomas Tuchel has suggested that N’Golo Kante’s withdrawal against Leicester was a precaution in order to prevent another injury.

The Chelsea midfielder has been plagued by injury problems – including hamstring trouble – during the past couple of seasons.

And the sight of Kante going off during the first half of Tuesday’s game will have worried many fans.

Chelsea complete their domestic season against Aston Villa on Sunday and will face Manchester City in the Champions League final the weekend after.

Blues boss Tuchel will not want to be without Kante – and has indicated that there might not be cause for alarm.

The German did admit, however, that sending on Mateo Kovacic in Kante’s place was a “huge risk”.

Kovacic had only just returned to the squad following his own hamstring injury.

“I hope that N’Golo is not injured,” Tuchel said.

“He told me that he went off before injury. He felt his hamstring and he was worried that he would get injured if he continued to play.

“Hopefully N’Golo will come back. We are a different team without him, but we compensated very well.

“We put Kova in, which was also a huge risk. But it was the moment to take risks. It was a game of the highest importance at the end of the season.”

Chelsea’s vital 2-1 win took them above the Foxes into third place and means a win at Villa would guarantee a top-four finish.

In fact their Champions League spot for next season will already be sealed by the weekend if fifth-placed Liverpool lose at Burnley on Wednesday.

Tuchel declared: “It felt like a huge effort and a huge performance.

“But don’t get me wrong, it’s a big step but it’s only a step – it’s not done yet and we have to push it over the line on Sunday.”