Chelsea have been boosted by the news skipper John Terry is back in full training and set to sign his new deal.
Chelsea have struggled without their inspirational skipper
The Blues skipper's comeback after back surgery has been delayed by a calf problem, but he could be back in time to face Blackburn on 31 January.
Terry, 26, said: "I've been needing more power in my calf to join properly, but I have started full training."
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said Terry is within days of agreeing his new contract with the club.
The manager said Terry has asked for assurances that there will be no managerial change this summer, with rumours that owner Roman Abramovich is unhappy with Mourinho.
He said: "John is almost signing a new contract. If he hasn't then he
is doing that in the next few days.
"But, when he says it would be very difficult for him to play with another
manager in his career and he would like to do it with me until the end of his
career, it is because he accepts my philosophy as his.
It's taking longer than we thought but I am delighted to be back involved
"He feels comfortable with the work we do."
But when asked whether Terry had asked him outright whether he would be at the club next season, Mourinho replied: "Yes. My answer was 'I think so'."
Terry underwent surgery to cure his troublesome back problem at the end of December and he was expected to be back earlier this month until he picked up the calf problem.
He added: "I've managed to get some power back now. I still need to improve and it's taking longer than we thought but I am delighted to be back involved."
Chelsea have struggled to cope with the loss of the centre-half, but Terry feels Manchester United's loss at Arsenal on Sunday has given them hope of closing the gap at the top.
He added: "I'm disappointed that we lost at Anfield, obviously, and we need to pick ourselves up, but in a way that's already happened.
"When Manchester United scored I thought that the game was over. But credit to Arsenal, they've given us another opportunity and it is time to put pressure on United now."