Thomas Tuchel says N’Golo Kante was taken off as a precaution in Chelsea’s crucial 2-1 victory over Leicester on Tuesday and ‘hopes’ he isn’t injured.
The French World Cup winner, who has been in incredible form for the Blues of late, was substituted off after just 32 minutes with the scores level at 0-0.
Mateo Kovacic came on in his place with the Croatia international featuring for the first time since April 10 due to a hamstring injury.
Antonio Rudiger bundled in from Ben Chilwell’s deflected corner before Jorginho put the Blues 2-0 up from the penalty spot.
Kelechi Iheanacho hit back to set up a tense finale at Stamford Bridge, but Tuchel’s side clinged on to exact their revenge over the team that beat them in the FA Cup final last weekend.
The result means Chelsea have now moved above Leicester into third place with just one match against Aston Villa on the final day of the season on Sunday to play.
Following that crucial clash in which they will be looking to confirm their place in the top four, the Blues take on Manchester City in the Champions League final on May 29.
And Tuchel provided an update on the talismanic Kante ahead of those season-defining games.
‘I hope that N’Golo is not injured,’ the German boss said in his post-match press conference.
‘He told me he went out before an injury. He felt his hamstrings, he was worried that he’d get injured if he continued to play.
‘So we put out Kova [Kovacic] that was a huge risk but it was the moment to take risk as it was a game of highest importance. I am happy it worked out. ‘Hopefully NG [Kante] will come back, we are a different team with him.’ [Metro]