N'Golo Kante a doubt for Chelsea's Premier League clash with Aston Villa

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Frank Lampard is facing a selection headache ahead of Chelsea's return to Premier League action.

The Blues are putting preparations in place for their return on June 21st when they travel to face Aston Villa.

However it appears that they could be without midfielder N'Golo Kante.

According to ESPN, the Frenchman is behind schedule in his hopes of being fit for the return to competitive action.

Lampard's side took part in an intra-squad training match at Stamford Bridge over the weekend involving the majority of the first team squad, however Kante was a notable absentee.

The report says that the midfielder was given permission to miss the match as he 'continues to express concerns over player safety'.

Kante has been in training at the club's Cobham training ground, however he's yet to take part in group session, with the midfielder instead following an individual training programme.

The club are said to be supportive of the player's concerns over his family's fitness, however with less than two weeks until their return to action there's a concern that he won't be fit enough to feature at Villa Park.

GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

If N'Golo Kante does miss Chelsea's return to action against Aston Villa it'll be a massive blow.

That said, there's more important things than football going on.

Kante and his family have endured illness over recent years and so it's only natural that he would feel particularly anxious about returning to full training.

While many others are back in action, I personally don't think it'd be right to force him back to action before he is ready to do so.

Safety is the name of the game at this stage and for Chelsea - providing they have given full authorisation to be out of action - they must be tolerant of the player's individual circumstances.

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