Chelsea have confirmed N’Golo Kante will miss around four months of action having undergone surgery on a hamstring injury.
The 31-year-old will miss France’s World Cup campaign after suffering a setback during while on the comeback trail following injury in mid-August.
Kante’s issue is the latest in a long line of problems to have plagued him over the last 12 months, with last season also decimated by injury.
The midfielder was limited to only 21 Premier League starts last time out and has not played since Chelsea’s dramatic 2-2 draw with Tottenham almost three months ago.
Kante’s contract is due to expire next summer and talks over an extension have stalled after he wanted a longer-term agreement than the two-year deal offered that included a club option for an extra year.
It is another blow to Graham Potter, who will also be missing Wesley Fofana and Reece James for the foreseeable future.
“N’Golo Kante has undergone an operation on his hamstring injury,” read a club statement.
“The midfielder visited a specialist with the club’s medical department to explore the options for his rehabilitation approach and 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.”