Huge Chelsea injury boost as vital duo return to action - reliable journalist

Chelsea's £40million signing Tiemoue Bakayoko is still recovering from a knee injury

Since Chelsea won the title last term, Conte has endured a surprisingly hard period that shows no signs of abating heading into Sunday's clash with title rivals Tottenham at Wembley.

Summer signing Bakayoko, who has had a knee problem, featured in a behind-closed-doors friendly against QPR's youth side on Thursday, as did Eden Hazard.

News of Eden Hazard's return from injury will be music to the ears of Chelsea fans.

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Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas are suspended, while numerous young players Conte used when his squad was stretched last season have been allowed to leave.

Conte said: "Hazard is improving, but to be fully fit we must have patience and do the best for him".

The Italian is desperate to have his star man return to the first team squad in the best shape possible and is not keen to see him risk another injury by playing for Belgium during the worldwide break.

"Bakayoko is improving and could be in contention".

"I have to make hard decisions", he added.

Chelsea are also yet to replace Nemanja Matic and Conte added: "At this moment I don't have other midfielders available".

Another important player who has been off the pitch due to injury issues is Pedro, who continues to nurse an ankle injury and thus remains a doubt.

'The situation is not easy in this moment.

The Italian said: "About Pedro, today he trained with us and he felt pain in his ankle".

"When you try to put players in too soon the risk of injury is high". The physical condition could not be 100 per cent but we have to face this situation. "I don't know if he is available for the bench or not on Sunday".

"You know very well our situation after these two red cards, but we are preparing very well", Conte told reporters on Friday.

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