Antonio Conte has suggested Eden Hazard will make his first start of the season for the Carabao Cup clash with Nottingham Forest on Wednesday (20 September) after the Chelsea ace made another substitute appearance in the goalless draw against Arsenal.
Hazard, 26, suffered an ankle ligament injury while on international duty in June and has played a peripheral role this term.
The Chelsea winger returned to action with Belgium during the recent international break but Conte has since opted against rushing his return to action, giving him three late cameo appearances against Leicester City, Qarabag and Arsenal.
Yet, Conte suggested that Hazard will be finally ready to make the line-up when Championship side Forest visit Stamford Bridge this week.
"The last 20 minutes Hazard played very well," the Chelsea boss said in the press conference. "Now on Wednesday he will have the possibility to start the game against Nottingham Forest and then to complete his recovery. We hope everything will be okay after this game."
Pedro, however, could be a doubt for the game after the Spaniard had to be replaced by Tiemoue Bakayoko at half-time during the draw with Arsenal due to an ankle problem.
"Pedro wasn't 100 per cent fit and for this reason I decided to make this substitution for the second half," Conte explained. "We have to check with the doctor but I hope this is not serious."
Meanwhile, David Luiz will also miss the upcoming games after the centre-back was sent off for a challenge on Sead Kolasinac in the closing minutes of the derby.
Conte questioned referee Michael Oliver's decision after suggesting that Luiz had been fouled in the lead up to the incident by Alexis Sanchez.
"You know very well that I don't like to comment on referee decisions. I didn't do this in the past and I don't now. All I can say now is it is very important to see what happened before the David Luiz tackle; for sure there was a foul. The referee took this decision [to show a red card] but if he stops the play before, I think it doesn't happen," Conte said.
"There was a foul in a continuous way, they continued to push him [David Luiz] and the referee, he has to use the whistle, but it happened and we look forward."
It was the third consecutive game that Chelsea fininised with 10 men against Arsenal while Luiz also became the fifth player to be dismissed in the Blues' last eight games.
Conte expects his side to have better fortune in the future after describing their disciplinary record as "strange".
"For sure it is strange but in all situations we have to try to improve; in the tactical situation, the physical situation and also we must try to improve in this situation, and also we hope to be more lucky in the future," the Italian added.
"I was a player and it can happen this type of period when we were not so lucky to receive red cards. I hope to be more lucky with the decisions for us and also for the opponent because sometimes the opponent deserved a red card and instead they continued to play with 11 men."