Photo: Kurt Zouma back in training for Chelsea

Picture Supplied by Action Images

Chelsea defender shared pictures of his return to training.

Kurt Zouma has been pictured in training for Chelsea as he steps up his recovery following a lengthy injury lay off.

Zouma, signed by Jose Mourinho for £12.5 million from Saint Etienne, has been out of action since January.

Picture Supplied by Action ImagesKurt Zouma on international duty

Zouma sustained a serious knee injury against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge earlier this year, and missed the second half of the season.

Chelsea's Kurt Zouma lies on the pitch after sustaining an injuryChelsea's Kurt Zouma lies on the pitch after sustaining an injury

While his return to the training pitch is a big boost, Chelsea fans should not necessarily be expecting him to be ready for the start of the season.

Quoted by the Evening Standard in June, he said that his target was simply to be playing again by 2017.

Norwich's Dieumerci Mbokani in action with Chelsea's Kurt ZoumaNorwich's Dieumerci Mbokani in action with Chelsea's Kurt Zouma

The imposing centre-back's injury could have been a determining factor behind Chelsea handing John Terry a new contract, and he will hope in the second half of the season to replace the ex-England captain in the side.

Capable of playing in both midfield and defence, the 21-year-old is an outstanding prospect and if he can get back to the player he looked like being prior to his injury, his return will be a huge boost for new Blues boss Antonio Conte.

Returning to training early if just to take part in a lighter schedule will allow Zouma time to learn his new boss' methods and be fully prepared for his comeback.

Chelsea's John Terry and Kurt Zouma celebrate at the end of the matchChelsea's John Terry and Kurt Zouma celebrate

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