Chelsea’s double FA Cup final hero, Roberto Di Matteo, is on the verge of taking a significant step on his road to a full recovery. The Italian midfielder is hoping to have the plates removed from his leg, broken in the team’s defeat against St Gallen in last season’s Uefa Cup, which should enable him to join in full training. He has already been joining in light training and this procedure should be the final stage before launching his comeback.

“Things have gone pretty well so far,” said Di Matteo. “It’s now up to the specialist to tell me how quickly I can think about returning to full match fitness. I feel good and I don’t have too many problems with the leg. Obviously I can’t go flat out and I must admit that some days I get tired. But that’s to be expected and if I get the go-ahead to have the plates taken out I would imagine that I could be ready to play by the end of November or early December.”

A fit again Di Matteo would certainly be a welcome boost to Chelsea’s midfield, where at the very least he would provide some stiff competition for places in the central berths. Claudio Ranieri remarked: “No team can be without players of the quality of Roberto Di Matteo. He is a world-class player in his position. It will be good for the team to have him back and it will be like having a new signing at the club.” Di Matteo, twice a goal-scorer in Chelsea FA Cup final victories, is guaranteed a resounding ovation from the Blues faithful on his eventual return.

What are your hopes for Roberto Di Matteo should he make a full recovery from his shocking injury? Will it be like having a new player or does he have no chance of returning to his best?