Antonio Conte hopes to welcome N’Golo Kante back for Chelsea‘s Champions League tie with Roma next week, although the Frenchman will still be missing when the Blues travel to take on Bournemouth on Saturday.

Kante has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since the international break, and has missed four games for the Blues. 

His absence has coincided with injuries to Alvaro Morata and Victor Moses – both of whom also had hamstring issues – and a rocky period of results for Chelsea.

But Kante is nearing recovery from his injury now, with Conte admitting the midfielder could be ready to start when Chelsea take on Roma away in the Champions League next Tuesday.

When asked who is available for the trip to Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, Conte told reporters at Cobham: “Moses is out, I think for him we must have patience before we see him in the squad. 

“N’Golo is mostly ready. We must wait but I hope to have him back for the Rome game.

“Danny [Drinkwater] played against Everton but for sure he must find the right physical condition. The others are available.”

Conte was forced to start the season without star winger Eden Hazard and summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko as both were recovering from an ankle and knee problem respectively.

Danny Drinkwater only made his debut for Chelsea on Wednesday following his recovery from a calf strain, and Conte admitted that he is doing his best to steer his side through a congested fixture list despite being close to having a fully fit squad.

He said: “I hope to overcome this period. We started with Hazard’s problem and we continued with Pedro’s problem – he broke a bone in his face.

“Then we had Danny, in the first week when he started training…then N’Golo in the internatiinal beak. Then Moses. 

“Our start of the season wasn’t lucky but we are doing well. And we have the points we deserve in the league, and in the Champions League. We went the next step in the Carabao Cup. We were eliminated [last year]. we must find out new potential players like [Ethan] Ampadu. We are doing big work.”