Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has edged closer to a return to action, as he trained with the first-team squad for the first time yesterday. The Belgian has been out of action since September, when he suffered a ligament injury in his knee. The club used their official Twitter account to post the news, along with a video of him walking to the Cobham training ground to join his teammates.
He is expected to be fully fit to get back in contention for the first-team in December.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 19, 2015
Next step in rehab today, good feeling in training. Still have to work hard before I will be playing again, but it’s coming closer! #CFC
— Thibaut Courtois (@thibautcourtois) November 19, 2015
Courtois has made just three appearances thus far, without keeping a single clean sheet. He was also sent off on the opening day of the season in the 2-2 draw at home against Swansea City. Despite this though, the Blues will be buoyed by the return of an individual who was extremely instrumental in their Premier League-winning season last year.
In Courtois’ absence, Asmir Begovic has been Jose Mourinho’s first-choice and the Bosnian has done a very good job indeed. The former Stoke man has been unfortunate in most of the games though, being let down by a shambolic defensive showing by the men in front of him. Chelsea have, quite incredibly, conceded 23 goals in their 12 games thus far, an average of nearly two per game.
It remains to be seen if Courtois’ return to the first-team leads to an improvement in results. The 23 year-old has widely been labelled as one of the finest goalkeepers in Europe currently, but the way Chelsea are playing, even the best of the best won’t good enough to relieve their plight.
Mourinho has struggled to find the right combination at the back season, with star players like Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry being completely out-of-form. Chelsea’s immense success last season had a lot to do with their solidarity at the back, especially in the second half of the season when the forward players weren’t firing. This season, the attackers’ lull has continued, but the defence has leaked goals as well. This has led to an absolutely disaster of a campaign, with the Blues placed 16th place with just 11 points on the board thus far.