Chelsea's N'Golo Kante out for almost a month with hamstring injury

Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas

Chelsea will be without influential midfielder N'Golo Kante after he was ruled out with a hamstring injury that he picked up while away with the French squad.

Fourth placed Chelsea are six points behind Manchester City after the champions lost 1-0 to the Premier League leaders in their last match before the worldwide break.

The France global limped off clutching his hamstring during last week's 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory in Bulgaria and missed his country's next game against Belarus on Tuesday.

Kante had been an ever-present in the top flight this season, but the former Leicester City man faces the possibility of missing at least three league games in the coming weeks.

"Drinkwater is progressing well but is not ready yet", the Italian added.

"Morata, I hope to have him back very soon".

"For sure it's a muscular problem, a hamstring", Conte told a news conference on Friday.

"It is a big loss for us".

"As you know, we have three injured players", said Conte.

"In midfield we only have Bakayoko and Fabregas available".

"We are going to do a scan next week to check Kante's situation, if he's improving". We don't have another player with the same characteristics.

Morata didn't play for Spain over the last fortnight, but Conte hopes he will return to face Roma at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Kante's injury is also an ill-time blow for Conte as Danny Drinkwater also remains on the sidelines due to another injury which has prevented him from making his debut for Chelsea since joining the Blues from Leceister on deadline day.