Injured Chelsea winger Yuri Zhirkov is looking forward to making his Premier League debut after dismissing fears he would need surgery to resolve a knee problem.
Zhirkov, who joined Chelsea in the summer for £18million from CSKA Moscow, has missed the start of the campaign because of a knee injury.
“I don’t know who spread these rumours, but they don’t correspond to reality,” said Zhirkov.
“My condition has improved and the doctors say that in two or three days I will be able to return to training, although not fully. I’ll work on an individual programme.
“I was feeling pain and noticeably limping when running, but now that’s behind me. I just need to tone up the leg.”
Zhirkov’s injury deteriorated after his appearance for Chelsea against Milan on the US tour.
Meanwhile Portugal midfielder Deco has revealed how he turned down other offers this summer to remain at Stamford Bridge.
“Last season was the worst season of my career because I never had so many injuries before,” said Deco.
“This season things can be different. I know I am well and fit and I can play. I want to help the team and I think the coach trusts me.
“I have a contract and they respect me here – the fans, the people in the club and the new coach.
“I had other offers but I never said that I want to go.
“I just said the last season was difficult and I wouldn’t like this one to be like the last one – but I talked with the club and the coach and the first time he said he wanted to keep me in the squad, I said okay, I want to stay.”