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

Chelsea manager Graham Potter 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.  

England right-back James limped off with a knee injury during the Blues 2-0 win against AC Milan in midweek with reports in the English media suggesting the 22-year-old faces a race against time to be fit for Qatar.  

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

“Yesterday he felt not too bad, but until you get these things checked you never know. We will wait and see. There’s no point looking into the doomsday scenario yet, we need to check and then go forward.”  

Kante has not featured since August and has suffered a setback in his return from a hamstring injury.  

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

“He’s due to see a consultant at the weekend. It’s a setback, it’s not good news, but I can’t give you anything more at this stage,” added Potter.  

Kante has been dogged by injury problems over the past two years and Potter believes both club and country have to be careful in managing his fitness.  

“Historically there are things which have happened which is a concern, so we need to get to the bottom of that,” he added on Kante’s injury record.  

“It’s a setback at this stage of this rehab which is worrying but all we can do is get the right diagnosis, get the right consultation, and try and help him get back to full fitness and enjoying 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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