Chelsea are set to welcome Reece James back to their squad to face Bournemouth in the Premier League.
The England full-back missed the World Cup in Qatar with a knee injury but is working his way back to full fitness.
Meanwhile, Blues boss Graham Potter expects Wesley Fofana to be out for “a number of weeks” following a setback in the French defender’s recovery from his own knee problem.
“Reece trained with us and played 65 minutes in the week,” said Potter, referring to Chelsea’s friendly against Brentford.
“Wesley just had a small setback, as can sometimes happen in the last stages of rehab. So he’ll have a few weeks.”
Edouard Mendy was back in training with the Blues following his World Cup performances with Senegal.
Armando Broja will miss the rest of the season after tearing knee ligaments, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek has a heel problem, Ben Chilwell a thigh problem and N’Golo Kante is out until at least February after hamstring surgery.
Chelsea had 12 players at the World Cup, with Potter explaining that group has “dripped back in” – barring Hakim Ziyech and Mateo Kovacic.
Morocco’s Ziyech and Croatia’s Kovacic came face to face in the third-fourth place play-off, with both Blues stars yet to return to west London training and unavailable on Boxing Day.
Chelsea Starting 11 (3-4-3): Arrizabalaga; Chalobah, Silva, Koulibaly; James, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Cucurella; Mount, Aubameyang, Sterling.
Bench: Mendy, Bettinelli, Azpilicueta, Havertz, Pulisic, Zakaria, Gallagher, Hall, Hutchinson.
Bournemouth team news
O’Neil described the days leading up to Bournemouth’s Carabao Cup defeat against Newcastle on Tuesday as “a tough week” after losing as many as ten players to a virus. With seven days between the cup tie and trip to Stamford Bridge, it remains to be seen how many players can recover in time.
Jefferson Lerma, Ryan Fredericks and Marcus Tavernier are believed to be part of this sickly cabal.
Neither goalkeeper Neto nor captain Lloyd Kelly were available for the cup tie against the Magpies even though both returned from injury to take part in the club’s warm-weather training camp. David Brooks has also gotten back out on the grass during the off-season.
Bournemouth predicted lineup vs Chelsea
Bournemouth Starting 11 (4-4-2): Travers; Smith, Mepham, Senesi, Zemura; Christie, Billing, Cook, Anthony; Solanke, Moore.
Bench: Sadi, Plain, Hill, Greenwood, Stacey, Emiliano, Dembele, Lowe, Adu-Adjei.