Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. Photo: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

LONDON – Maurizio Sarri says N’Golo Kante is likely to miss Chelsea’s crucial games against Eintracht Frankfurt and Leicester after the France midfielder suffered a hamstring injury in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Watford.

Kante limped off early in the first half at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea boss Sarri admitted he shouldn’t have risked his fatigued star after a draining schedule left him in danger of injury.

The 28-year-old will be examined further on Monday, but Sarri doesn’t expect him back in time for Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg against Frankfurt or next Sunday’s final game of the Premier League season at Leicester.

“The problem is with his hamstring. I think I made a mistake because probably today he needed to rest,” said Sarri, whose side are on the brink of qualifying for the Champions League after climbing to third in the Premier League.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to put a player so important on the bench, but you have to do it. 

“We have to wait until tomorrow morning but I think it is very difficult to recover him for the next two matches.”

Chelsea host Frankfurt as they bid to reach the Europa League final after drawing the first leg 1-1 in Germany.

If they make it to the final in Baku against Arsenal or Valencia on May 29, Sarri hopes Kante will have recovered well enough to play.

“We want to play the final so he is lucky. We want to recover him for the final,” Sarri added.

AFP