Reece James is closing in on a return to full training in news that will arrive as a timely boost to Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino.
The Blues captain suffered a hamstring injury in August and hasn't played since as he completes his personal rehabilitation programme.
He has been working alone at the club's Cobham HQ - but he is now close to returning to training with his team-mates.
There is hope he could be ready to accelerate his training involvement next week, but the clash against Burnley on October 7 is likely to come too soon.
There is hope, however, that James will be available for immediately after the international break for the game against Arsenal on October 21.
The news will offer encouragement to Pochettino, who is faces mounting injury problems at full-back.
In addition to James, fellow right-back Malo Gusto is injured - while left-back Ben Chilwell is waiting for the results of a scan on his hamstring injury.
Chelsea, of course, are awaiting news on whether James faces an FA ban following an alleged incident in the tunnel after last weekend's home loss to Aston Villa.
James is accused of confronting referee Jarred Gillett after the game against Unai Emery's side.
The 23-year-old has made just one appearance so far this season in Chelsea's opening game of the season - the 1-1 draw versus Liverpool.Read on m.allfootballapp.com