Chelsea have been handed a timely boost with the news that Thibaut Courtois remains on course to return to December after running for the first time following knee surgery in September. The 23-year-old goalkeeper suffered a knee injury while training with the Belgium national team but is expected back before the new year.
Courtois confirmed earlier in October than he was "progressing well" in his recovery after going under the knife. In his latest Instagram post, the Blues stopper has posted a video taken at the club's Cobham training ground of him jogging alongside the message: "Happy to be running again."
Though Asmir Begovic has performed admirably in the Chelsea goal in Courtois's absence, manager Jose Mourinho signed Italy international Marco Amelia on a free transfer until the end of the season as cover for the Bosnia international. The 33-year-old was an unused substitute in the last two games against West Ham United and Stoke City, with Jamal Blackman having been on the bench 10 times this term.
The news regarding Courtois comes amid a horrendous start to the campaign for Chelsea, who are 15th in the Premier League after five defeats from their opening 10 games and were dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Stoke on penalties. Mourinho's side have also won just one of their first three Champions League group games and currently face missing out on the knockout phase.
Perhaps the more dire aspect of Chelsea's season has been their insipid defence of their league title, the worst for 20 years in the history of the Premier League, which sees them already 11 points adrift of leaders Manchester City. But Begovic says with 28 games remaining in the season, there is plenty of time for the club to turn their fortunes around.
"It's coming from all corners at the moment so we have to cope with that," Begovic said, according to Reuters. "We came back, we showed good character and I think our performance showed we are still positive and trying hard, it's just that little moments are not going our way.
"We're going to take it a game at a time – there is still a long way to go. This league is very unpredictable so we need to take care of our performances first – I think our performances are getting better so we just need to keep that going."