Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell has been out working on the grass as he steps up his recovery from a knee injury.
Chilwell suffered a partial tear of his ACL during November’s 4-0 victory over Juventus and the decision was made to decline immediate surgery, which would have ruled the 24-year-old out for the majority of the season.
Club doctors were confident that Chilwell’s injury was not severe enough to require surgery and instead opted for more natural treatments in the hope of accelerating his return.
Well, it looks as though things are going to plan so far as Nizaar Kinsella revealed that Chilwell was out on the grass on Tuesday conducting a light fitness session as part of his ongoing recovery.
There’s obviously a long way to go before Chilwell is back in full contact training, but Chelsea are believed to be optimistic that the left-back could make his return in ‘early to mid January’, which would be fantastic news for Thomas Tuchel.
As it stands, Marcos Alonso is the only natural left-back (or left-wing-back) in Tuchel’s squad. There have been calls for midfielder Saul Niguez to play there, and some have even suggested Chelsea should recall 19-year-old Ian Maatsen from his loan with Coventry City to add some cover.
It does not seem as though that will be necessary, with Chilwell seemingly making good progress in his quest to return early in 2022.
N’Golo Kante and Trevoh Chalobah were both involved in full training on Monday, having been part of a small fitness session on Sunday when most players were off.
The pair are in line to return against Everton on Thursday, although Tuchel has not confirmed whether either would actually be fit to start.
Mateo Kovacic remains in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 one day after returning from a lengthy injury lay-off.