Kurt Zouma
Zouma not expected to return until late this year after undergoing surgery. Getty

Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma is able to walk without crutches again as he continues his recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Zouma, 21, suffered the season-ending injury in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, when his knee jarred on landing from an aerial challenge. The France international left the ground on crutches and scans later revealed surgery was required, ruling him out for approximately six months.

The former Saint-Etienne starlet has remained upbeat as he undergoes rehabilitation, posting a video of himself on Twitter walking in a swimming pool with the message: "So happy to start walking again... step by step."

Despite the player's season coming to a premature end, Guus Hiddink has been impressed with Zouma's positive attitude since surgery. "He was in a mood as if nothing had happened," the Chelsea boss said in February. "He was very confident. He had his operation, which I think went well."

Zouma's injury has left Chelsea short of options at centre-half. Branislav Ivanovic has been forced to move inside, with John Terry also currently sidelined. The club captain has missed the side's last five matches after picking up a hamstring problem in the 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle United in February.

The 35-year-old, who is set to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, confirmed via his Instagram page on Tuesday he is not ready to return for the club's Champions League second-leg showdown with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday 10 March.

"I'm gutted to be missing the PSG game. It's so frustrating missing any game," said Terry. "But these big Champions League nights at the Bridge are unbelievable and it hurts as a player not to be involved.

"I have thrown everything at my injury trying to get back fit, but sometimes you have to let the injury settle. Thankfully, I'm on the mend and I hope to be back soon."