HomePremier LeagueChelsea's Fofana could return before World Cup, says Potter

Chelsea’s Fofana could return before World Cup, says Potter

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Champions League – Group E – Chelsea v AC Milan – Stamford Bridge, London, Britain – October 5, 2022 Chelsea’s Wesley Fofana down injured Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana’s knee injury is not as bad as initially feared and the Frenchman could be back in a few weeks, manager Graham Potter said on Friday, adding that midfielder N’Golo Kante is also nearing a return.

Fofana, who arrived from Leicester City in a deal worth 75 million pounds ($83.51 million) in late August, scored his first goal for Chelsea in the 3-0 win against AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday before limping off.

“Wesley’s knee is not as bad as we thought so that is good. It will be a few weeks I think but considerably better than it could be,” Potter told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Premier League home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“A possibility (to play before the World Cup), depending on rehab.”

Kante has not featured since mid-August due to a hamstring problem but Potter insisted he was in no rush to bring the France international back.

“Kante is doing more and more integration with the team. Not ready for the weekend, but getting closer and closer,” he said.

“There’s nothing we can do, the injury happened. We have to make sure when he’s back, he’s back for good, and strong. It’s something we have to deal with.”

Chelsea are fifth in the table with 13 points, seven clear of 18th-placed Wolves who sacked manager Bruno Lage last week.

Potter said turmoil at Wolves would not work in Chelsea’s favour and that the fixture had always been a challenging one.

Wolves’ visit will also mark the return of former Chelsea striker Diego Costa to Stamford Bridge, where he won two league titles and a League Cup during a three-year spell.

“We have a lot of respect for him and his career. He’s at Wolves and he’s going to come and be ready to play,” Potter said of 33-year-old Costa, who scored 59 goals for Chelsea.

“I followed his career from afar and I’ve got a lot of respect for him. They have a lot of good attacking players so we have to be ready.”

($1 = 0.8981 pounds)

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)