Chelsea defender Reece James is nearing a return from the injury that has kept him sidelined since the Blues' final match of 2021.
The England international was forced off in the 1-1 draw with Brighton at Stamford Bridge on 29 December and scans revealed he had torn his hamstring.
James joined longer-term absentee Ben Chilwell in the treatment room, and Thomas Tuchel's side have sorely missed their marauding wing-backs in the weeks since - winning just once in the Premier League and effectively seeing their title challenge ended by dropped points against Liverpool, Man City and Brighton once again.
However, according to The Athletic, one of Chelsea's standout performers this season will soon be back to boost Tuchel's stretched squad.
James has been put through individual training drills as he looks to build up fitness, and the report claims the club's coaches are targeting a return to group training in less than two weeks.
That would mean the 22-year-old would be back in time to participate in the Blues' rescheduled Club World Cup campaign in Abu Dhabi, which gets underway on Wednesday 9 February. However, the FA Cup fourth round tie against Plymouth four days prior - Chelsea's final game before they fly out to the UAE - will likely come too soon.
The wing-back should also be fit and available for the first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie against Lille and the Carabao Cup final against Liverpool later in February.
James had been in scintillating form before his injury, scoring five times and laying on six more from his wide-right position in Tuchel's three-at-the-back system. His return is timely as Chelsea continue to fight in four cup competitions.
Source : 90min