The 25-year-old defender suffered a broken shin and ripped ankle ligaments at Newcastle United FC in February and has not played since. In his eight-month absence, the Premiership champions recruited Spanish international left-back Asier Del Horno, who has impressed in his first few months in English football. "To get him back on the pitch will be great for Wayne," said Chelsea assistant manager Steve Clarke. "He's played three or four full reserve games, and he looks good in training. The boy can see light at the end of the tunnel, and feels fit. When you have a long-term injury, you have to be brave, focused and dedicated to come back. His attitude has been great."
Strength in depth
Clarke warned that Bridge faces a fight to regain his place in the starting lineup, adding: "We're pleased with Del Horno, he's come in and done well and settled very quickly into English football. They're rivals for the same position but that's the same across the board. For Wayne, the most important thing now is to get back into the Chelsea side and to be involved on a regular basis. From there, the England situation will take care of itself."