ateo Kovacic is set to give Chelsea a timely boost with the Croatia international set to return from injury.
The midfielder is back in training after missing eight games with a hamstring injury.
With N’Golo Kante also injured and Jorginho suffering from signs of fatigue and hip pain, Chelsea’s midfielder options have been hit hard in recent weeks.
Kovacic has been a central figure since Thomas Tuchel took over in January and provided vital cover for Kante. Saul Niguez was signed this summer to give the European champions more depth in the midfield, but the Spain international struggled to master English football – starting just two Premier League games and being substituted in midfield. -time in both.
Kovacic was injured in training in October. Chelsea medics have been careful in their approach to his recovery to ensure there is minimal risk of repeat injury.
But his prolonged absence saw Tuchel’s side struggle – drawing two draws and losing one of their last five league games to drop back down to third place in the table.
It is hoped that Kovacic will be available for Saturday’s home game against Leeds.
Tuchel is already facing a slew of injuries, with no date set for Kante’s return from a twisted knee.
Romelu Lukaku is back from an ankle injury, but Tuchel confirmed this weekend that the Belgium international is still a long way from the match’s fitness – admitting he’s not yet ready to play 90 minutes complete.