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Billy Gilmour targets Chelsea injury return after international break

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Hype resuming

Chelsea FC - Press Conference And Training Session Photo by Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Billy Gilmour, Scourge of Merseyside has been spotted at Chelsea training in recent days and weeks, and should be getting close to making his official return from the knee injury (and subsequent surgery) that he suffered towards the beginning of Project Restart.

Making his sixth Premier League appearance (second start) of his young career, the dynamic midfielder was diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his knee after the match against Crystal Palace in early July, and the decision was taken to get it fixed via surgery. At such a young age and so early in his career, it was surely a disappointing development, but definitely the right choice to make in the long-term.

As it turns out, it was an injury that he probably had been dealing with for a while — since 2016! — and the Palace match finally made it bad enough to cause a real problem. Gilmour revealed this on the latest episode of the Four Lads Had A Dream Podcast, which should be getting released today (Friday).

“Ever since the [2016] Victory Shield days, I had to wear tape round my knee and I always felt that something was wrong. Since I came to Chelsea, I have had a problem with my knee at the end of the season.

“When it came to Crystal Palace, I felt something go in my knee in the first half. The adrenaline was helping me kick through it but you don’t think straight away ‘this is a bad injury’. You think ‘I have had a knock, I will be fine next week’. From that, I got told I had to go and have surgery on my meniscus.

“Coping was fine and obviously I had family around me. I was in crutches for four or five weeks so my family were helping me about the house. Going into training, everyone in the team was keeping my mind off the injury and talking about other stuff. I was always happy, the boys were very good with me when they saw me and talked about football and other stuff. That was good mentally. I was thinking about the injury all the time and that wasn’t a good thing, but I coped well.”

The expected (physical) recovery period was about 4 months, and we’re right on track for that. Lampard said a couple weeks ago that we’re targeting a post-November international break return for the 19-year-old (unclear if U21s first or first-team straight away), and Gilmour himself has now confirmed that.

“Hopefully when I come back after the international break I can start to kick on again, get over my injury and start playing games for the team. I can’t wait.”

-Billy Gilmour; source: Four Lads Had A Dream Podcast via Herald

Gilmour, like Ziyech earlier with Morocco and now Pulisic with the USMNT, is using the international break to get some recovery minutes under his belt — important to get moving in the proper setting not just physically but (and perhaps even more importantly) mentally as well. Scotland U21 play Croatia and Greece in U21 Euros qualifying — perhaps the right blend of friendly intensity at this level.

Be sure to give these guys a listen to celebrate this good news!