Mateo Kovacic returned to training on Thursday as Chelsea continued their preparations for this weekend’s visit to West Ham’s London Stadium.
WHU vs CHE: Chelsea have shared more good news ahead of Saturday’s derby, after confirming Denis Zakaria’s return to training on Wednesday.
Kovacic, who has been out with a calf injury for the past month, is now one step closer to returning.
The Blues confirmed Kovacic’s return to the field by posting photos from Thursday’s training sessions on the 5th Stand app.
It was not stated whether Kovacic trained with the team or separately, but Chelsea’s midfield could be back to full strength soon.
While fans will have to wait a little longer before seeing N’Golo Kante for the first time under Graham Potter, delaying his return after such a long absence is probably the best option.
The addition of Enzo Fernandez allows Chelsea to be more cautious in dealing with the injuries to Kovacic and Kante.
The prospect of Fernandez and Kovacic linking up in midfield is intriguing, but Potter will have few reasons to take such a risk, at least for this weekend.
In defense, Wesley Fofana has trained in the last few days after recovering from a long-term knee injury, so he should be in contention to face David Moyes’ men.
Potter, unlike Kovacic, will have a compelling reason to start Fofana and rest Thiago Silva, with the Champions League round-of-16 first leg against Borussia Dortmund looming.
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Meanwhile, Trevoh Chalobah appears to be the safer option to partner Benoit Badiashile on Saturday.