The France international could not continue after going down off the ball, with Mason Mount having to replace the World Cup winner

Chelsea have suffered a potentially massive blow as N’Golo Kante walked off the pitch in the first ten minutes of Monday’s clash against Manchester United with an adductor injury.

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The France international midfielder went down off the ball and immediately called for treatment from the Blues medical team.

It was not immediately obvious what the injury was, or whether it had been caused by a challenge or if he had strained a muscle, but it soon became clear that the 28-year-old was unable to continue.

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He was able to get to his feet and make his way off the pitch unaided, albeit gingerly, before walking straight down the tunnel.

England international Mason Mount was brought on in his place.

Speaking after the match, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard confirmed the nature of the injury, but could not provide a timeframe regarding Kante’s return, stating only: “It’s an adductor injury, it doesn’t look great.”

It is the latest blow in what has been an injury-plagued season for the former Leicester midfielder, which has restricted him to just 21 appearances in all competitions.

He missed a month at the start of the campaign with a sprained ankle before picking up a groin strain on international duty with France in October, with that particular injury seeing him sidelined for a further three weeks.

Kante then picked up a hamstring strain last month that caused him to miss the 3-0 Premier League win against Burnley.

Blues boss Lampard, who was already without Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham and Ruben Loftus-Cheek through injury, will desperately hope this latest blow for Kante is not too serious as his side have a number of key matches spread over three competitions scheduled in the next two weeks.

They face top-four rivals Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday before hosting Bayern Munich in the Champions League round of 16 first leg on Tuesday, February 25.

They then travel to the south coast to take on Bournemouth back in the Premier League on Saturday, February 29, before an FA Cup fifth-round clash with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge three days later.

Lampard’s side are currently fourth in the Premier League but face a real battle to hold onto that spot, with the likes of Tottenham, Sheffield United and Monday’s opponents Manchester United all breathing down their necks.

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