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Chelsea have confirmed France midfielder N'Golo Kante will be sidelined for three weeks with the hamstring injury he suffered on international duty.
Kante was forced off in the 34th minute of Les Bleus' World Cup qualifier victory over Bulgaria on Saturday night, and withdrew from Didier Deschamps' squad for Tuesday's final Group A game against Belarus.
The 26-year-old, who is one of the 30 contenders for this year's Ballon d'Or, will miss the three Premier League games in October, against Crystal Palace, Watford and Bournemouth, the League Cup match against Everton, and the two Champions League games against Roma.
However, Chelsea hope Kante will be fit for the Premier League game against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on 5 November.
"Kante is going to do another scan next week to check if his situation is improving," manager Antonio Conte said ahead of Saturday's Premier League match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
"From the previous scan, maybe he will be out for around 20 or 21 days."
The former Leicester City star, who was a key figure in the Foxes' Premier League title win in 2015-16, started 35 of Chelsea’s Premier League games last season to claim back-to-back title successes and win the Player of the Year award.
The Premier League champions expect Spanish striker Alvaro Morata to be fit for their Champions League Group C home game against Roma, which will be shown live on Wednesday, 18 October on eir Sport 1.
The Spanish national team doctors diagnosed the 24-year-old as having a grade 2 hamstring tear, but Conte says the injury is not as serious as first feared.
"As you know very well we have three injured players," the Italian continued.
"Morata, I hope to have him back very soon, I hope for the next game against Roma.
"Danny Drinkwater is progressing well but not ready yet. We must have patience with him and this calf problem and then the last one is Kante."
Chelsea top Champions League Group C after victories over Qarabag and Atletico Madrid in their opening two matches.
You can watch all of Chelsea’s Champions League campaign on the eir Sport package. Antonio Conte’s side will face Atletico Madrid, Qarabag and Roma in Group C. The Premier League champions' game against Serie A side Roma at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, 18 October is live on eir Sport 1 [kick off 7.45pm]
Image: Getty Images/ Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno
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