ROME: Chelsea coach Antonio Conte said Monday (Tuesday in Manila) that he would let French midfielder N’Golo Kante decide whether he is fit to play in Tuesday’s Champions League tie at Roma.
Kante has been out since picking up a hamstring injury during the international break earlier this month.
The 26-year-old returned to training before last Sunday’s Bournemouth game but did not play in the 1-0 win, and has now traveled to the Italian capital.
“We have recovered (Danny) Drinkwater and Kante. (Victor) Moses needs more time,” Conte told a pre-match press conference at the Stadio Olympico of players returning from Chelsea’s mini-injury crisis.
“It’s important for us to overcome this difficult period. We are recovering important players.
“Kante has trained with us. It’s very important in this moment to speak with the player, and his sensation is very important.
“I was a player and I know very well after an injury, above all a muscular problem, a bad injury, it’s very important to listen to the player, to find out his sensation and then make the best decision for him and the team.
“For sure tomorrow we will try to make the best decision.
“It is important to overcome a sensitive time of the season, you don’t solve problems overnight and you try to find the best solution.”
Conte said he was expecting “another very tough match” in their Group C rematch two weeks after a 3-3 draw in London.
“It was an exciting game. Despite being a 3-3 draw, it was proof of the desire of both teams to go for it. Tomorrow will be another difficult match,” said Conte as Chelsea lead the group, two points ahead of Roma, with Atletico Madrid in third.
“Our group is a tough group with Atletico Madrid and Roma, two really group teams. Roma are in a good moment of form. To stay at the top of this group is really important,” said the Italian.
“Before the Roma game we lost a couple of games, now we have won three games in a row.
“There are two big games before the international break, against Roma tomorrow and (Manchester) United on Sunday.
“The most important thing is to go game by game, tomorrow is the most important game. We have to try to put all our game in to get the right result. Then we prepare for another tough game in the league.” AFP