Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante appears on track to make his eagerly anticipated return from injury during Tuesday evening's (31 October) Champions League meeting with AS Roma.

The reigning PFA Player of the Year and 2017 Ballon d'Or nominee has missed five matches across all competitions since sustaining a hamstring injury in early October while on international duty with France during their penultimate 2018 World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia.

Chelsea have struggled notably at times during his absence, losing at Crystal Palace before throwing away a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Roma in that initial Group C thriller at Stamford Bridge.

They have recovered their form somewhat over recent weeks with three successive wins over Watford, Everton and Bournemouth, although rumours over discontent behind the scenes continue to persist.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's Eden Hazard-inspired win at the Vitality Stadium, Conte revealed that Kante was "mostly ready" to return and that he hoped to have him available for the midweek trip to the Stadio Olimpico.

Quizzed again about the prospect of having one of his most influential players back in the fold for a pivotal week that concludes with the Premier League visit of Manchester United, he said: "I hope. I hope. He could be ready.

"But you know very well the importance of this player. I want to be sure he is ready. Honestly, I hope to have him in this game. But I'd prefer not to take a risk. If he's ready, he plays."

Chelsea were eager to confirm that Kante did take part in a final training session held before the squad fly out to Rome later on Tuesday, suggesting that he has experienced no further setbacks and should be involved against the Giallorossi.

However, as expected, Victor Moses remained sidelined with the hamstring issue that forced him off after just 39 minutes of that shock defeat to former club Palace at Selhurst Park. The Nigerian wing-back, 26, was expected to miss at least a month of action and Conte stressed the need for patience with regards to recovery before the slender win over Bournemouth.

"Moses is out," he said. "For him we must have patience before seeing him in the team."

Conte currently has no other known injury concerns to contend with after summer signing Danny Drinkwater finally made his Chelsea debut with a 62-minute outing in the Carabao Cup fourth round defeat of Everton. He also appeared as a substitute at Bournemouth after the manager said he needed to "find the right physical condition".

Chelsea can qualify for the Champions League round of 16 with a win over a Roma side that impressed in west London and have won all three of their most recent Serie A matches by a 1-0 scoreline.

N'Golo Kante
N'Golo Kante has not played for Chelsea since the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on 30 September