Chelsea have been handed a major boost following the return of Eden Hazard to training.
Hazard missed Chelsea’s 4-0 thumping of Burnley the weekend due to a back injury he sustained in the 2-2 draw with Manchester United earlier in the month.
The Belgian captain trained with the rest of the first team squad on Tuesday morning ahead of the Blues Carabao Cup clash against Derby County at Stamford Bridge.
But while Hazard wore a smile in training, assistant Chelsea boss Gianfranco Zola insisted on Tuesday in his pre-match conference that the Belgian is unlikely to play any part in the cup tie as the club target a return for him against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The 27 year old, Hazard has scored seven goals in nine English Premier League games.
“He (Hazard) is certainly much better. I’m not sure today, maybe tomorrow he is going to join us in training. I don’t think he is going to be involved in the game tomorrow, but he is looking quite good for the weekend,” Zola said of Hazard on Tuesday’s pre-match conference.
“We are pleased because he is such an important player for us,”
On Frank Lampard’s return to the club as opposing coach, Zola said: “I’m sure it will be a big night for him. We’re looking forward as well. We’re very pleased to welcome him.”
“He’s a legend of the club. He’s done so much for the club. We really wish him continuously well as a coach.
“On a personal note I can only say it’s been a pleasure for me to have him as a companion. We spent some time together not only on the pitch but also on the training ground.”
“It’s not surprise for me he’s doing well and he’s going to do well in the new role in football. He’s always had a great attitude towards the game, towards what has to be done to become good in the game.”