Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante is expected to be available for upcoming matches against Crystal Palace and Barcelona having returned to training after a health scare, reports suggest.

According to The Telegraph, the energetic French international fainted after a training session at Cobham last Friday [2 March], leaving teammates concerned that he had suffered a heart issue. Kante is said to have regained consciousness and been quickly attended to by a club doctor before being sent for cardiology tests.

Those examinations came back clear and the 26-year-old was apparently passed fit for Sunday's [4 March] Premier League trip to Manchester City, but The Telegraph add that he was not risked despite travelling after feeling ill on the morning of the match amid suggestions that the recent freezing temperatures brought on by the "Beast from the East" and Storm Emma may have been a factor.

Having missed that insipid 1-0 defeat to the runaway leaders, Kante should return to Antonio Conte's squad this weekend for a top-flight London derby against struggling Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge after coming through a training session on Monday [5 March] with no further problems.

Chelsea then travel to the Nou Camp for the second leg of their finely-poised Champions League last-16 tie against La Liga table-toppers Barcelona, who claimed a 1-1 draw in west London last month after Lionel Messi's goal cancelled out Willian's second-half opener. That fixture is followed by an FA Cup quarter-final meeting with Leicester City and more high-profile capital derbies against Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.

Kante has been an integral figure for the Blues since joining from Leicester for a fee of approximately £30m ($41.5m) in July 2016, scooping a whole host of individual awards including PFA Player of the Year, Premier League Player of the Season and FWA Footballer of the Year last season after winning his second successive title.

This term, the former Boulogne and Caen midfielder has made 35 appearances across all competitions for Conte's defending champions, whose top-four hopes now appear in real jeopardy after that defeat to City - during which the manager's defensive tactics were subject to strong criticism - which saw them fall five points adrift in fifth place with nine games remaining. They are a full 25 off the title pace.

The issue of footballers' health became headline news over the weekend, when Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori passed away at the age of 31 following a "sudden illness". Prosecutors, who have since opened a routine pre-autopsy "culpable homicide" inquiry, stated that they believed the player had died of a "cardiac arrest by natural causes".

N'Golo Kante
N'Golo Kante impressed for Chelsea during their 1-1 Champions League draw with Barcelona last month Shaun Botterill/Getty Images