Chelsea are hoping to have N'Golo Kante back in time to face Manchester United in what will be one of their biggest tests leading up to the turn of the year.
The France midfielder has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since the last international break and, despite training with the squad, has not been able to make a return as yet.
According to The Telegraph, Antonio Conte was hoping that the player would declare himself fit before the loss to AS Roma, even delaying his announcement over team selection for the match. However, Kante decided late on that he could not play, leaving the Blues to suffer a 3-0 loss.
With a huge match against Jose Mourinho's men set for Sunday, the Londoners' medical team are seeking to have the midfielder ready to play, albeit being aware of the risk of aggravating his hamstring.
Conte is thought to be desperate for the France star to return, given his lack of options in midfield. Tiemoue Bakayoko was forced to play through pain in Italy on Wednesday, while Danny Drinkwater has only just returned to full fitness and isn't ready to play for 90 minutes as yet.
Cesc Fabregas has looked out of form lately, having played in almost all of Chelsea's matches this season. And the coach is considering giving him a rest on the weekend.
The Blues will also be coming up against Nemanja Matic, who was sold to United during the summer. Keeping him would have left them in a much better position this season, given their injury woes, but these things are best taught in hindsight sometimes.
Thibaut Courtois was apparently quite displeased over Matic being sold, but has admitted that it was a difficult situation for the club.
“Those are questions you need to ask to the people who made that happen," he said ahead of Sunday's affair.
“If a player nowadays wants to go to a team, then he has – I don’t want to say the power – but if he has a strong will to leave and join another team then it is hard for the club.
“You cannot just ignore him and say ‘you cannot leave’ because then you have a disappointed player who won’t play at his best. So obviously for us you give a player to another big team, but they are choices that are made in football and we have some quality midfielders, so I hope we can show on Sunday that we are better.”