London (AFP) – N’Golo Kante is out of Chelsea’s Champions League match against Juventus on Wednesday after testing positive for coronavirus, manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed.
Tuchel said the French World Cup winner, 30, was not in training on Tuesday ahead of the Group H match in Italy.
He said Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount would also be absent along with Reece James, who was injured against Manchester City at the weekend.
“Christian, Mason and Reece are out due to injury and N’Golo unfortunately tested positive and needs to quarantine and follow the government protocols,” he told reporters.
“He was not in training today and is of course not with the group.”
Tuchel admitted he does not know how many of his squad have been vaccinated but revealed he has received the jab himself.
The German said players must retain personal choice over Covid-19 vaccines, at the same time as hoping for a quick recovery for Kante.
“I don’t know the percentage of players vaccinated actually,” he said. “It’s not even that I don’t want to tell you but I simply don’t know it.
“And we are also only a reflection of society, the players are adults and it’s free choice if they want to get vaccinated or not. And I think we should accept it.
“Every time someone gets it here from us or from our group, it makes us very aware the Covid situation is not over.”
Tuchel admitted the combination of a successful transfer window and winning the Champions League last season would make their task harder in the competition this year.
“It’s hard to be seen as the underdog when you’ve just won the title but I think we came from a role not as the favourites last season and we got better with every match and we grew in confidence,” he said.
“Now it is of course easy to make us the favourites,” he added.
“We have the experience that it gets a higher value to play against us, it is a higher motivation to play against us and we have to accept this.”
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