Chelsea re-sign injury-stricken star

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Defender Sam Hutchinson has signing an 18-month contract with Chelsea, over a year after announcing his retirement from the game following a knee injury.

The 22-year-old made just four appearances for the club after emerging from the club's academy, but injury forced him to quit football in August 2010.

However, Hutchinson, tipped by former Blues boss Jose Mourinho to be a player for the future, says he's delighted to be feeling fit again.

"It's great to be back and I am looking forward to the future," he said.

"I take it week by week and it is a slow process. I am still not out of rehabilitation but I am playing 90-minute games and feeling fit.

"I have progressed from a month of three days training and then a day off to four days training and then a day off.

"It is important now to stick to the plan and listen to the doctors and progress from there."

Hutchinson made his Chelsea debut in 2007 against Everton, but a succession of knee problems led to his retirement last year, his final appearance coming at the end of the 2009/10 campaign against Stoke City.

The versatile defender began his comeback in the summer with a friendly appearance against Crawley Town and academy manager Neil Bath is optimistic the player can begin training with the first-team soon.

"Should he make progress, we anticipate there could be a further contract but he is still going through the early stages of rehab and is still not training with first-team-type loading in terms of intensity and demands," he said.

"It's fantastic news because we have a player who has been with us since he was seven, who we thought had retired.

"It is looking good that he will have a professional living in the game but we have to stay patient with the plan."

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Sam Hutchinson
Premier League

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