Chelsea head coach Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful that summer signing Yuri Zhirkov will soon be ready to make his debut for the Blues.
The £18million arrival from CSKA Moscow has been dogged by a knee injury since he moved to Stamford Bridge, but Ancelotti hopes that the 26-year-old Russia ace will not need to go under the knife.
The Italian said: "At the moment, we don't think he needs surgery. He's working with the team, yesterday he worked with us.
"We have to control the situation. For the moment, he's not very well but he is improving.
"Next week we have to control his body. If he has improved, he can start to play matches again.
"He didn't play with the national team because he's not fit now, but he is improving. At the moment, he doesn't need surgery."