Thomas Tuchel has confirmed N'Golo Kante aggravated an ankle injury during Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Saturday, forcing the Frenchman to leave the field of play at half-time.
The 30-year-old got in a tangle when trying to recover the ball from Roberto Firmino and the two stars hit the ground in awkward fashion. The Blues midfielder needed treatment after the incident and he was replaced by Mateo Kovacic at half time.
Tuchel has now admitted that Kante suffered an ankle injury in the challenge, aggravating a similar issue that meant he was unable to start in the victory over Arsenal last week.
"He is injured," Tuchel began. "He missed the Arsenal game because of some pain in the ankle and some inflammation, but it was nothing serious obviously because he was back in training and he started today.
"In winning the ball in this situation I think the opponent fell on his ankle and he twisted it again and he had immediately the same pain he had before the Arsenal game and he was lacking force to accelerate and we had to take him off."
Tuchel was proud of his players for their 'excellent' performance at Anfield, holding on for a draw despite playing the entirety of the second half with only ten men. Defender Reece James was shown a straight red card on the stroke of half-time for deliberate handball and denying a goalscoring opportunity, which led to Mohamed Salah's equaliser from the penalty spot.
"Can there be any harder challenges than going one man down and taking N’Golo Kante off at the same time at half-time at Anfield and having Liverpool playing towards the Kop? It’s a pretty tough one but we did excellent and I’m super happy with how we did and we feel like we deserved a point very well."
Kai Havertz had given Chelsea the lead against the run of play, but Salah's equaliser and the red card changed the dynamic of the game completely. The Blues dug in to secure a precious point on the road, and the players will now take off for international duty.
Kante however may have to miss France's round of fixtures, given the recurrence of his ankle injury.