Graham Potter is finally able to release Kylian Mbappe vs. Chelsea's Everton after seven months of dying

Graham Potter is finally able to release Kylian Mbappe vs. Chelsea's Everton after seven months of dying

N'Golo Kante might make his long-awaited return from an ischio-jambier injury when Chelsea take on Everton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday

The view of N'Golo Kante gently walking on the grounds of Stamford Bridge had become too familiar to Chelsea fans. However, frustration and disappointment have never abated. The only question was how long this one would last. Even the worst of the fans would never have predicted seven months

A lot has changed in Chelsea in those days – and in the wider football world. Thomas Tuchel left the house. Graham Potter came through. A World Cup took place and the tournament has since expanded. The Blues waged a desperate battle in the Premier League. A place in the Champions League quarterfinals has been obtained

During all this time Kante undertook extended recovery after undergoing ischio-knee surgery in October. Much of the invisible work, the tedious rehabilitation sessions, was carried out in Cobham. It wasn't until early January that the 31-year-old took his first steps on the grass in the Chelsea Training Center – and they were provisional at best

The next eight weeks were carefully managed; Chelsea could not let Kante suffer a setback. The club showed patience with the return of the midfielder, which did not always happen. The former head coaches precipitated the Frenchman's return from injuries and he was to the detriment of Kante

It is certain that this time it will be different; that Kante has been carefully manipulated. He returned to full practice before the match against Leeds United, but did not introduce. He was not involved in the difficult match of the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund or in visiting the old Leicester City club on Saturday

The hope is that Kante has a significant role to play in this season's competition, which he does not yet have to present because of his injury. Potter's players will play their Champions League quarter-final after the international truce, but they won't know their opponents until Friday's draw.

Questions about Kante's contract remain open. His current contract expires in the summer and negotiations are ongoing to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge, but nothing has been signed yet. This will have to be decided and decided, but the most important thing is to bring Kante back to Earth. This will need to be addressed and resolved, but the most important thing is to get Kante back on the ground.

And after seven long months, it may finally come on Saturday.

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