Ben Chilwell continues to make excellent progress in his recovery from ACL surgery, with Chelsea confirming on social media yesterday that the 25-year-old was out on the training pitch at Cobham for the first time since the operation, and was able to complete a very light fitness session, complete with some ball-work.
The road ahead is still long; even in the best cases full recovery can take 6-9 months. (Or if you’re like me and not exactly a professional athlete, 2+ years and counting.) But it sure looks like Chilwell’s trending towards the shorter end of the usual timelines, and if he can continue at this pace, he may yet in fact be back in time for next season. Whether he will be at his very best is another matter entirely: it’s unlikely that he will be right from the off, but hopefully that won’t take him too long either.
In Chilwell’s absence, we’ve tried no fewer than at least six different players in his left wing-back role (Alonso, Sarr, Kenedy, Saúl, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi), none of whom could even approach the all-around level of his contributions. Get well soon, Chilly B!