Chelsea keeper Cech back in training

Chelsea keeper Cech back in training

Published Sep. 6, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Chelsea were handed a major boost on Tuesday when Petr Cech returned to full training ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Sunderland.

The goalkeeper had been ruled out for between three and four weeks after damaging knee ligaments in a training-ground collision last month but has made a quicker-than-expected recovery.

Understudy Hilario has failed to keep a clean sheet in the 29-year-old's absence, producing a horrible error to gift Norwich an equaliser in Chelsea's 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge 10 days ago.

That error against Norwich capped an erratic display from Hilario, and manager Andre Villas-Boas revealed after that game that Cech "might" be available for the Sunderland match.


Providing the latter does not suffer a setback, a recall now looks certain, although Villas-Boas insisted that would not mean he had lost faith in Hilario or Ross Turnbull.

"Hilario, Ross and Petr have been fantastic throughout all of pre-season and the beginning of the season, so I have confidence in all of the three," Villas-Boas said.

New signing Raul Meireles, who trained for the second time with Chelsea today after returning from international duty with Portugal, could make his debut at the Stadium of Light.

David Luiz also looks set to be available after missing the start of the season with a thigh injury.

The defender trained today after returning from international duty, during which he was an unused substitute in Brazil's 1-0 win over Ghana at Craven Cottage last night.