Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted he was happy to see Ben Chilwell back in training, even though he is still a long way from full recovery.
The 25-year-old was ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery following an ACL injury sustained last November against Juventus in the Champions League.
He was however pictured for the first time in training at Cobham, but Tuchel insisted he is not expected back this season.
“Chilly was back out on the grass training and I think the one minute he was out on the grass they took a photo of him!” Tuchel added.
“The weather made it possible he could do the exercise outside and it was good to see, but he still has a long way to go.
“They made him smell the grass and get a bit excited, but nothing close to football or team training. There isn’t any chance he will be back before the end of the season,”
The German was also asked about Andreas Christensen’s future and he admitted he could leave at the end of the season.
The Danish is out of contract at the end of the current campaign, and with no agreement on a new deal, he could leave Stamford Bridge.
“We hear the rumours with Andreas and it’s been like this for many months,” the German said.
“He has not signed yet so we can’t communicate anything. We are not happy about it and personally and the club representatives think it’s best for him to stay here. We rely heavily on him.
“We have to consider the possibility that he may leave us. Will we like that? No. Will we live with it? Yes.
“If things happen, it’s normally the best thing not to take them personally. He is still our player and we will do what is best for us while he is a Chelsea player.
“He knows we appreciate him a lot and I think it’s a crucial point in his Chelsea career; he is in a perfect age and perfect moment with the system we play and the guys at his side.
“I think it’s the decisive moment to step up and be a huge player for Chelsea in the next years. If he decides otherwise, I will not take it personally,”
Meanwhile, Chelsea will travel to face Norwich at Carrow Road on Thursday night.