Cesar Azpilicueta nearing first-team return

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Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta is nearing a return to the first-team as he continues his recovery from injury.

A report earlier this week revealed the Chelsea full-back is suffering from a 'minor' muscle injury picked up against Newcastle United last Saturday.

Chelsea assistant Steve Holland said the injury was 'not serious' in the aftermath of that match, and the timeline put on his recovery was 10 days.

Azpilicueta is working hard to speed that up, but the wording of his Tweet suggests this weekend's game against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium may come too soon.

The Spaniard said on his Twitter account: "Working on my recovery. I'll be back soon." Attached to the Tweet was a picture of the player in a swimming pool, a common training aide for players with muscular injuries.

If he does indeed miss the match against Swansea, former-Atletico Madrid left-back Filipe Luis will slot into the team, and Chelsea shouldn't lose too much from the alteration.

Azpilicueta has been excellent for Jose Mourinho this season, but Luis is a more than capable replacement.

Chelsea's next match after Swansea is against Liverpool at Anfield in the League Cup semi-final before a game versus either Bradford or Millwall in the FA Cup fourth round.

Swansea match-up

The match against the Swans this weekend comes at a good time for the Blues, as Swansea today confirmed that their top scorer Wilfried Bony has joined Manchester City for £28m in the first big-money deal of the January transfer window.

As a result, it's the perfect time for Chelsea to travel to the Liberty, as they look to build on the two-point gap between themselves in first place and City in second.

After a draw to Southampton and a loss to Tottenham on New Year's Day, Chelsea got back to winning ways in the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.

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