It has been a long and testing six months for Ben Chilwell, but at Stamford Bridge yesterday he was able to finish the season on a high by returning to action in the closing minutes of our win over Watford.
Chilwell suffered a serious knee injury when we beat Juventus in November. It brought an abrupt end to an excellent run of individual and collective form, and the left-back’s absence has been keenly felt ever since.
He underwent surgery at the end of the year and has been putting in the hard yards at Cobham, gradually building up his fitness before returning to group training last week.
The good news continued as he tasted competitive action for the final stages of our final game of 2021/22, and he was understandably thrilled when he spoke to Chelsea TV afterwards.
‘This is the moment that has driven me the past months, getting on that pitch has motivated me to work so hard in the gym,’ Chilwell said.
‘Firstly, I have to thank my family. They have been there the whole time with me. All the staff and the boys have been brilliant as well. The support from everyone has been amazing and that’s another thing that has pushed me so much to have such a good recovery and feel so good.
‘It’s a very tight group. From day one of my injury I’ve felt the support of the fans, the staff, the players, everyone involved with Chelsea. It’s made it a lot easier to get through it and I’m buzzing to be back.’
Cheers from everyone inside the Bridge greeted Chilwell’s return to the grass, with the moment made extra special because he came on for his great mate Mason Mount.