Kurt Zouma is closing in on a return to Chelsea’s side after eight months out with a serious knee injury.
The France defender landed awkwardly during a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge last season, rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Zouma missed Euro 2016 as a result, and is yet to demonstrate his skills to new coach Antonio Conte, but came through 45 minutes for the Blues’ Under-23 side this week.
And Conte has revealed that another youth-team outing is scheduled for Zouma on Monday, after which he will be considered for a first-team return.
“Zouma played a game with the Under-23s and the physical answer was good,” Conte said.
“Now we prefer him to play another game on Monday and if it’s all okay he will come back to us.
“I am very happy because I can have another central defender and a good central defender, a young one with great potential.”