N’GOLO KANTE is set to be out for the next FOUR MONTHS after having hamstring surgery.
The midfielder will now miss the World Cup as France seek to defend their crown.
Kante, 31, has spent much of the season sidelined by injury.
He managed to play just the first two games of the campaign before picking up the problem.
And, after visiting a specialist, the decision was made for Kante to have surgery on his hamstring.
A Chelsea statement on Tuesday evening said: “N’Golo Kante has undergone an operation on his hamstring injury.
“The midfielder visited a specialist with the club’s medical department to explore the options for his rehabilitation approach.
“It was mutually agreed for N’Golo to have surgery to repair the damage.
“Following a successful operation, N’Golo is now expected to be sidelined for four months.”
Boss Graham Potter revealed last week that Kante had suffered a setback in the final stages before making a return.
Ahead of his trip to the specialist, which confirmed the need for surgery, Potter said: “Again he’s due to see a consultant at the weekend. It’s a setback so it’s not good news.
“But anything other than that, at this stage I can’t give you any more.
“Historically, there are things which have happened which are a concern and we need to get the bottom of that.
“It’s a setback in the last stage of his rehab so again that’s worrying. But all we can do is get the right diagnosis, the right consultation and then try help him get back to full fitness and enjoying his football.”
Kante has been a key player at Stamford Bridge ever since signing from Leicester in 2016.
But his injury problems in recent months have fuelled speculation of an exit this summer, especially with his contract set to expire.
He is the latest star to join the growing injury list for the World Cup.
Liverpool ace Diogo Jota was also ruled out of the tournament with a calf problem.
Kante’s Chelsea team-mate Reece James is also a doubt for Qatar, while his France pal Paul Pogba remainss unlikely to be fit to make the plane.
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