Chelsea’s James and Kante could miss World Cup due to injury

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Chelsea manager Graham Potter has confirmed that Reece James and N’Golo Kante will see specialists in the coming days, which could determine their chances of going to the World Cup next month.

English right-back James limped off with a knee injury during the Blues’ 2-0 win against AC Milan earlier in the week and English media reports have suggested the 22-year-old faces a run against the time to get fit for Qatar.

He has to see a specialist over the weekend. Until we get that information there’s not much more I can add, unfortunately the rest would just be speculation,” Potter said of James, who had established himself as the first choice for Gareth Southgate at England right-back.

“Yesterday he didn’t feel too bad, but until you check these things, you never know. We will wait and see. There’s no point in looking at the doomsday scenario yet, we have to check it out and then move on.”

Kante hasn’t appeared since August and has suffered a setback on his return with a hamstring injury.

The midfielder was vital to France’s success in Russia four years ago and would be a major failing for Didier Deschamps’ side.

He has to see a consultant over the weekend. It’s a setback, it’s not good news, but I can’t give you any more at this point,” Potter added.

Kante has been plagued by injury problems over the last two years and Potter believes both club and country need to be careful when managing his fitness.

“Historically, things have happened that are concerning, so we need to get to the bottom of that,” he added of Kante’s injury history.

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“It’s a setback at this stage of this rehab that’s worrying, but all we can do is get the right diagnosis, get the right consultation and try to help him get back into shape and enjoy his football.”

Potter also confirmed that Wesley Fofana is unlikely to play for Chelsea before the World Cup due to a knee injury, limiting his chances of making the France squad.

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