Ruben Loftus-Cheek is edging closer to a first-team return for Chelsea.
The midfielder has been out of action since last May with an Achilles problem which he sustained during an end of season friendly prior to the Europa League final against Arsenal.
He returned to light training ahead of the Blues’ clash against Tottenham Hotspur before Christmas and was joined in with the senior squad ahead of the FA Cup fourth round tie against Hull City.
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Understandably, Frank Lampard is yet to call upon Loftus-Cheek.
But it could be imminent as the 24-year-old made his long awaited Chelsea comeback on Tuesday.
Loftus-Cheek played an hour in a behind closed doors friendly between the Under-23s and Brentford B at Cobham as he took a big step towards making a senior appearance before the end of the season.
And it would appear that the midfielder suffered no setback as he took to social media and reacted to his return to action with an eight-word message for supporters.
“Back running with the ball at my feet,” he wrote on Twitter.
The plan is for Loftus-Cheek to be eased back into the first-team picture.
As revealed by football.london, he is expected to take a full part in training when the squad reconvenes after their winter break.
However, he is almost certain to play again for the development squad before making a competitive senior return because the club’s medical team have warned against him being rushed back following such a lengthy absence.
Last week Lampard said of Loftus-Cheek: He’ll be with the U23s to try and get some minutes, he’ll have to get some minutes.
“He’s had a full week of training with us for the first time and he has come through it. It’d great to see him but he looks short, he knows he’s short, you couldn’t not be after he has been out for so long.
“So yes, U23s…