Antonio Conte believes Ross Barkley could be ready to make his Chelsea debut next week in the FA Cup third-round replay against Norwich City.
Barkley, who joined Chelsea from Everton last week, is still recovering from a hamstring injury that has prevented him from making a competitive appearance this season.
"He is working very hard and I think that maybe the next game against Norwich, he could be available, in contention," said Conte at a news conference on Friday.
"I hope so. He is not ready 100 per cent, but I think he can start to help us for the rest of the season."
Conte also provided an update on the future of Baba Rahman, after Schalke confirmed they were in talks over a loan move for the full-back on Thursday.
"Baba is recovering from an injury and I haven't had the possibility to see him in training with us, only once or twice, but he wasn't ready to have a full training session with us," said Conte.
"Now he's recovering, I think that [Schalke] could be an interesting option for the player, to try to recover with them."
Conte says on Baba Rahman, who is recovering from a bad injury, that it could be an interesting option for him to continue that on loan at Schalke where he was previously.— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 12, 2018
Chelsea face Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday, with Conte wary of the threat posed by Claude Puel's side.
"I think Leicester is a really good team, a strong team in really good form and for us it will be very difficult," added the Italian, despite the fact the Foxes have won only one of their last seven matches in all competitions.
"Maybe Leicester is the worst team to face in this moment for us."
18. Januar 2018
|Australia call for Carey, Hazlewood out of Gabba ODI|
|Defending champion Fleetwood upstages McIlroy, Johnson|
|No offers for Evans yet, says West Brom boss Pardew|
|Halep not feeling the pressure|
|Stafylidis seals Stoke switch|
|I was dying on court - Monfils questions decision to play in Melbourne heat|
|Birthday girl Kerber sets up Sharapova clash, misery for Muguruza|
|Federer marches on, Djokovic beats the heat but Wawrinka bows out|
|Worry about your own team - Dortmund slam Wenger´s Aubameyang pursuit|
|Fabulous Federer eases past Struff|
|Praet denies agreeing deal to join Juventus|
|No BBC for Real Madrid´s Leganes clash|
|Wawrinka discovers Tennys has game to go with the name|
|Heat hit historic low in defeat to Sixers|
|Stoke close to Stafylidis signing|
|Brisbane Roar 3 Perth Glory 2: Holman settles five-goal thriller|
|Gourvennec leaves Bordeaux after seventh defeat in eight games|
|Eight uncapped players make squad for England´s Six Nations opener|
|Stokes court date on same day as supposed England comeback|
|Pique agrees new long-term Barcelona contract|
|Wenger rules out Ozil sale as talks continue over Wilshere deal|
|Halep eases past struggling Bouchard|
|Sanchez-Mkhitaryan deal close, says Wenger|
|Retiring veteran Benneteau dumps Goffin out|
|Meunier blasts ´disgraceful´ PSG fans after Neymar boos|
|Pique demands better at Camp Nou after Espanyol ´insults´|
|Djokovic outlasts Monfils in Melbourne heat|
|Wizards get in scuffle in blowout loss to Hornets|
|Schweinsteiger re-signs with Chicago Fire for 2018|
|Rockets´ Ariza, Green suspended|
|Sharapova happy with improvement|
|Muguruza stunned as upsets continue at Australian Open|
|Juve trying everything to sign Can, says Marotta|
|He´s scared of me – Ferrell reveals Federer fears|
|Konta crashes out in shock Aus Open defeat to lucky loser|
|Brady limited in practice due to hand injury|
|Sharapova overcomes Sevastova in Melbourne|
|Rooney convinced me to join Everton – Walcott|
|Simeone: Sevilla deserved their win|
|Conte calls for VAR improvements|
|Neymar not angered by PSG whistles - Silva|
|FA Cup Review: Wigan dump Bournemouth out, nine-man Chelsea scrape through|
|Banvit beat Bayreuth to stay top as Gaziantep end losing streak|
|England won´t block Jones from Lions role|
|Valverde rues Barca profligacy in Espanyol defeat|
17. Januar 2018
|Chelsea 1 Norwich City 1 (aet, 5-3 pens): Hazard and Caballero seal Blues progression|
|No generosity from Neymar as Cavani waits to make PSG history|
|Neymar sets Ligue 1 landmark with staggering individual display|
|Espanyol 1 Barcelona 0: Melendo ends unbeaten run|
|Paris Saint-Germain 8 Dijon 0: Neymar hits four as Cavani levels Ibrahimovic record|
|Atletico fan in ´serious condition´ after being stabbed before Sevilla game|
|Stokes ´can´t wait´ for England return after ECB clearance|
|Kawhi Leonard´s rehab shut down as quad problem lingers|
|Folger out of MotoGP season due to illness|
|Stokes should not take my place - Bairstow|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Sevilla 2: Montella´s men stage dramatic first-leg comeback|
|Steelers will not retain offensive coordinator Todd Haley|
|Lukaku will score 30 goals for Man Utd this season, predicts Yorke|
|Brady named writers´ NFL MVP|
|Du Plessis wants action on slow pitches|
|Johnson back to his best after Augusta accident|
|Liverpool loan Grujic to Cardiff|
|Centurion hero Ngidi aiming high|
|Mbappe: More to come from Neymar & Cavani partnership|
|Messi the greatest ever despite no World Cup win, insists Di Maria|
|Uncapped Larmour named in Ireland´s Six Nations squad|
|Villa determined to earn place in Spain´s World Cup squad|
|Walcott swaps Arsenal for Everton|
|Kohli bristles at selection questions|
|England forward Haskell handed four-week suspension|