Chelsea on Tuesday welcomed Ben Chilwell back to first-team training as the defender enters the final stages of his injury rehabilition.
The left-back has been sidelined with a knee injury since November, picked up in the 4-0 demolition of Juventus in the Champions League.
Having initially hoped to avoid surgery, Chilwell went under the knife a month later, following further delays due to contracting Covid, and was promptly ruled out for the season.
It’s been a long road back for Chilwell since, but two weeks training with the academy sees the left-back on course for a return during pre-season and on Tuesday he linked up with his first-team team-mates on the Cobham pitches.
As reported by journalist Vaishali Bhardwaj, Chilwell was greeted by a round of applause from his team-mates along with a huge from head coach Thomas Tuchel.
Chilwell was in flying form before his injury, firmly displacing Marcos Alonso as Thomas Tuchel’s first-choice left-back and chipping in with three goals and one assist in six Premier League games.
Tuchel weighed up bolstering his ranks in January, with Alonso the only recognised left-back, but eventually opted against dipping into the transfer market.
Alonso soon picked up where Chilwell let off, adding a further three goals and four assists in the Premier League.