Chelsea midfielder N`Golo Kante has not recovered from an ankle injury and will miss Saturday`s Premier League encounter with Sheffield United, manager Frank Lampard said on Friday.
The 28-year-old missed the 3-2 victory over promoted Norwich City last weekend and was not called up by France manager Didier Deschamps for next month`s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Albania and Andorra.
"Kante is not fit. It`s a continuation of his ankle problem. He won`t be travelling with the French squad either," Lampard told a news conference.
"I had a conversation with Deschamps and we both agreed it was the best thing for him, so let`s try and get him fit over the break."
"It`s a setback, but my focus is on making sure he`s okay. He`s had four years of constant football at an incredibly high level, energy level, output level. We have to get it right."
Spain forward Pedro, who suffered a hamstring problem in the pre-match warm-up at Norwich, is expected to return to fitness following the international break.
First-choice central defender Antonio Rudiger has been on the sidelines since suffering a knee injury last season and is edging closer to full match fitness.
Victory at Carrow Road was Chelsea`s first under new manager Lampard and the former England international said a weight had been lifted from their shoulders.
"It certainly helped, not just me but the staff as well to get the first win. We have a huge uplift in that and there`s a lot to work on. We can`t rest on that win," Lampard added.
The former England international is well aware of the tactical strengths of Chris Wilder`s United side, having faced them in the Championship (second-tier) while managing Derby County last season.
The Blades have four points from three games but were beaten by Leicester City last time out.
"They`ve started well. I was very impressed with them last season, the job Chris has done can`t be under-appreciated," Lampard added.
"I look forward to going up against them... (tactics) is where they caught the eye last season and I enjoyed the battle. It gives you a lot of threats."