The Blues have been without the all-action midfielder on a number of occasions this season as Kante’s campaign has been disrupted by several injuries.
He has now been ruled out of Chelsea’s next fixture against Crystal Palace on Tuesday, and could miss the tough trip to Sheffield United at the weekend.
It comes as a fresh blow to Lampard, who has been reliant on the 29-year-old since the restart, and the Chelsea boss has now hinted Kante should start taking his body into consideration and train differently going forward.
“Take the small injury he has now out of it slightly, because all players can get that in this period because we’re asking a lot of them in games,” Lampard said in a press conference on Zoom.
“The story of the season being he had a pretty bad injury in the Europa League final and when we came back for pre-season, I wasn’t sure what the situation was and it turned out he wasn’t near fit with that injury.
“And now we end up with a slight domino effect that took us through the season which means he played pretty much fifty per cent of the games as we went into lockdown. I like to think that we’re through that patch and that this injury now is pretty unrelated.
“One of the things that looks different for me is that when you do get a few injuries, when you are in your mid-twenties you see things differently and you have to maintain yourself slightly differently and N’Golo certainly buys into that and I think that will help too.”
Lampard does have the luxury of having a number of top stars at his disposal in the middle of the park.
Jorginho is expected to come back into the side in place of Kante, while promising youngster Billy Gilmour is also available for selection.
In addition, Ruben Loftus-Cheek has also returned to full fitness, and Lampard admitted he may have a significant role to play in the coming weeks despite the main focus being on getting him sharp for the next campaign.
“Ruben literally played no games for a long, long time. Just before the lockdown period, we were trying to find him games in the Under-23s and play him at the right time,” Lampard said.
“So for Ruben, I think this period has been great for him to get fit. He is pretty fit but the reality is that next season will be the one with another pre-season that he will be really firing for.
“I am really excited for those times. It is not to say he won’t contribute now, he is coming off the bench, he may start some games and he gives us something really different.”
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