Exclusive claims £80m man will join group training “soon” ahead of long-awaited return

It’s a subject Chelsea fans haven’t had to think about for almost a year now – Wesley Fofana’s fitness.

We all remember that fateful moment just before preseason last summer when we found out he had had another serious knee injury, and would miss the whole season. Since then, everyone has been focused on other things, with more pressing matters at hand.

But we’re now getting to the stage where we can think about his reintegration, and our writer Simon Phillips has some interesting information on his Substack. He says that there is “real hope” the Frenchman can be back for the start of next season.

The defender has been in individual training for “some time” and will be back with the group “fairly soon.” There apparently remains belief that he can be an “important first team player.” Even with his individual work going well, there’s no way of telling how long it could take to get him match ready. We’re coming up to the first anniversary of the injury, but it doesn’t look like we should be expecting him to start until the Autumn at best.

Wesley Fofana starting his rehab at Cobham

An important factor for future planning

Fofana’s name has been mentioned more often recently as the signing of Tosin Adarabioyo has got more likely. When reeling off the list of defenders already at the club, you’ve got to add Fofana, albeit with the caveat that nobody knows if or when he’s going to be fit again.

This all sounds very promising, but as Simon says, we’ve got to be cautious in terms of his return and prioritise making sure this one sticks. After almost 3 full years out, it could take him a long time to be back to his best, if he ever gets there at all.

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