Premier League champions Chelsea have received an injury boost ahead of crucial upcoming clashes against Crystal Palace and Barcelona.
The Blues, who are going through a very rough patch having won just one of their last five league fixtures, will host a Crystal Palace side who already beat them this season. Just a few days later, they'll have to travel to Spain to play out the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie, having secured a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge in the first encounter.
According to football.london, Antonio Conte will have France midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko and youngster Ethan Ampadu back available, with the pair returning to training this week.
Bakayoko hasn't played since getting sent off in the 4-1 loss to Watford on February 5 after suffering a calf strain and was training on his own.
On Tiemoue Bakayoko, Conte says he has been training with the squad for the last week and his physical condition is 'not bad'. He adds it's important to remember the midfielder is still very young and he has the right personality to become an important player. #CHECRY— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 9, 2018
Conte, though, suggested that the player's injury was a bit of a blessing in disguise as he has had a lot of time to reflect on his poor showing against the Hornets.
"I think if I have to see a positive side to his injury, he has had a lot of time to work on the bad performance against Watford,” the Italian remarked.
What we learned from Antonio Conte's press conference:— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) March 9, 2018
1️⃣ N'Golo Kante is fine
2️⃣ Barkley is out, Conte urges patience with him, Luiz out still
3️⃣ Bakayoko is back
4️⃣ Giroud or Morata likely to play vs Palace
5️⃣ Conte tried to get John Terry to stay at #CFC
“He has been training with us for one week. His physical condition is not bad.
The manager also confirmed that N'Golo Kante, who didn't play against Manchester City last weekend, following a fainting incident in the dressing room, is in top condition.
“He is fine. He trained the whole week and is in good form," Conte revealed. “Last week on Friday it was very cold and after the training session he passed out briefly in the dressing room.”