Lampard handed boost as key player returns to training ahead of UCL game

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has been handed a boost after driving midfield force N’Golo Kante returned to full first-team training after missing the recent clash with Brighton.

The Frenchman has been absent due to a series of injuries, starting the campaign with a lingering ankle issue before pulling his hamstring.

But Kante was back in training and looking in high spirits on Tuesday, as Chelsea prepare to return to European action against Lille on Wednesday.

The Blues travel to France for their Champions League group stage clash, for which Kante is hopeful of playing some part.

It is understood that Kante has featured in elements of training before missing last weekend’s Premier League showdown with Brighton, after Blues coaches were intent on monitoring his progress.

Manager Lampard himself said Kante would not be rushed into action, despite his bright start to the current campaign.

He said: ‘My feeling is that he has played a lot and that’s because he has been so successful and so important to the teams he has been in. At the minute, he has injuries.

‘This little niggle he had is a small, small injury. We just need to get it right. We are just careful and it is my duty to work with him. The medical team are working so hard with him.

‘I have been there as a player and, if you miss a pre-season through an injury in particular, then you are playing catch-up.’