Ben Chilwell has taken the next step towards recovery after suffering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury. The left-back was dealt the blow back in November during the second half of the impressive Champions League win over Juventus.
He was subsequently expected to miss the rest of the season, handing Thomas Tuchel’s side a major setback in the Premier League title race and bid to retain Chelsea’s European crown. Chilwell featured 12 times for the Blues prior to his absence, directly contributing toward four goals.
The 25-year-old was central to much of the west London side’s success in the early stages of the season. Chilwell welded a strong relationship with Reece James which Marcos Alonso has struggled to replicate.
However, amid the England international’s absence, Chelsea have been left to greatly rue his injury. Last month, the club’s official Instagram account posted a photo of Chilwell working on the training ground alongside the caption: “Upping those fitness levels! @benchilwell.”
Whilst his return date is still unknown, the defender’s return to the pitch is welcome news. As the next step in his rehabilitation, Chilwell is set to set to train with the academy next week, according to Goal.
He is down to be with the development squad and is doing his final on-pitch solo sessions at Cobham, as aforementioned. Chilwell’s been doing ball work and in and around the first-team squad as he nears full recovery.
Goal adds that there is a hope among Chelsea that he will be ready for pre-season, with the west Londoners off to the United States. In the meantime, Chilwill made an impromptu appearance in Christian Pulisic’s post-match interview with the Chelsea club media, following the Blues’ 1-0 win over West Ham.
“You said saved us today bro,” the England international said, before giggles from Pulisic followed. “It was [a big win], it was. Big win. Long time since I’ve done this!”
Chilwell added by regathering his thoughts and placing his arm around the goalscorer. He said: “It was a big win. I’m proud of the boys today. Good win so, yeah, just push on now.”
“Always [nervous], always nervous,” he said, when asked what it’s like watching on from the sidelines. “The main thing today was the win so yeah, happy days.”