Zouma closes in on Chelsea comeback

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Kurt Zouma is set to hand Chelsea a fitness boost by ramping up his comeback from injury for the club’s under-23 side on Tuesday evening.

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The £12 million signing from Saint-Etienne has been out of action since sutaining anterior cruciate ligament damage during the 1-1 draw with Manchester United in February, but is now closing in on his return to first-team action.

Zouma, 22, is in line to start Chelsea under-23’s Checkatrade Trophy tie with Oxford United at the heart of defence, and has also featured in the development squad’s last two fixtures against Derby County and Everton.

On his official return to the fold, the Frenchman gave away a penalty in the 2-2 draw away at Derby, but has since got enough match-fitness under his belt to be considered for Tuesday’s game against League One Oxford at Stamford Bridge.

“I have been training with the development squad for a couple of weeks and I’ve enjoyed the experience a lot,” he told Chelsea’s official website.

“I have been going step by step with my rehabilitation and the games were a good test for me and my knee.”

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