CHELSEA star N’Golo Kante has pulled out of France’s World Cup qualifiers after suffering a hamstring injury.
The midfielder, 29, played the full 90 minutes in yesterday’s 1-1 draw against Ukraine.
He now faces a race to be fit for the Blues clash against West Brom on April 3 and Champions League crunch with Porto four days later.
A French Football Federation statement read: “N’Golo Kante will not take part in the next two matches of the French team on Sunday in Kazakhstan and three days later in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
“The Chelsea midfielder felt a pain in the hamstrings of the left thigh at the very end of the match against Ukraine on Wednesday at the Stade de France.
“He had clinical and radiological examinations on Thursday, which revealed a small lesion.
“In consultation with Doctor Franck Le Gall, national coach Didier Deschamps decided to put N’Golo Kante back at the disposal of his club on Friday.
“N’Golo Kante will not be replaced. It is therefore a group of twenty-five players who will fly to Kazakhstan on Friday morning.”
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France took an early lead through Antoine Griezmann but could not find a second and were made to pay as Prsenel Kimpembe’s own-goal gave Ukraine a point.
But it could be Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel who pays the biggest price as the Blues travel to Portugal to face Porto on April 7.
Kante, who has struggled with injury this season, would be a huge miss for the Stamford Bridge outfit.