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."
|Jaguares upset Lions in Buenos Aires|
|Clarke slams ´disgraceful´ Australia over ball-tampering|
|Spurs star Kane the world´s best player, claims Son|
|Whyte calls out Wilder after dispatching Browne|
|Federer to skip clay-court season again|
|Cardiff maintain winning streak, Leinster beaten|
|Montpellier march on, Brive climb off the bottom|
|De Gea and Ter Stegen criticise World Cup ball|
|Kisner thrashes Poulter to set up Thomas Match Play semi-final|
|Kokkinakis stuns Federer in Miami|
|Neymar to Real Madrid stories a media game, says PSG´s Pastore|
|Falcons rise to the occasion at St James´ Park|
|Celtics´ Irving to return in three to six weeks after surgery|
|Poulter forgets Oosthuizen´s Masters nightmare|
|Miami Open organisers unaware of Wozniacki abuse|
|FA condemns England supporters after trouble in Amsterdam|
|Warriors star Curry´s regular season over after MCL sprain|
|Radwanska stuns Halep to open up Miami draw|
|This is the real Michy - Batshuayi back on track at Dortmund|
|Atherton, Waqar, Du Plessis and now Bancroft - A brief history of ball tampering in cricket|
|Sweden 1 Chile 2: Bolados strikes late winner on debut|
|Stormers hold off rallying Reds at Newlands|
|Italy to name new coach in May, Costacurta confirms|
|Garcia eliminated as Thomas´ Match Play charge continues|
|Wozniacki demands action after Miami Open abuse|
|Smith will not stand down as Australia captain, despite role in Bancroft ball-tampering plot|
|Canada 1 New Zealand 0: Herdman enjoys winning start thanks to Ricketts|
|I saw an opportunity to change the ball condition - Bancroft|
|Wilshere withdraws from England squad to face Italy|
|Colombia collapse a slap for France, says Giroud|
|Vazquez wants Spain to face Messi|
|Gotze, Sahin mentoring Jadon Sancho at Dortmund|
|Low to make changes for Brazil friendly as injured Can heads home|
|Conti targets Milan derby for injury return|
|Bancroft charged over ball-tampering incident|
|Bancroft faces ball-tampering allegations as South Africa take control of third Test|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton out to make pole count, Ricciardo ready to fight|
|Northern Ireland 2 South Korea 1: Son frustrated as World Cup preparations stutter|
|Olympiacos & Nottingham Forest owner denies any wrongdoing over drug trafficking charges|
|I´ll dance with the fans - Gayle ready to party in Harare|
|Two games in two days! Ireland´s Doyle returns from Turkey to play for Bradford|
|Bancroft caught up in ball-tampering row|
|Everything is fine again! Khedira offers positive fitness update|
|Puyol ´doesn´t see any problem´ with Neymar joining Real Madrid|
|Spain already know their team - Sampaoli seeks Argentina certainty|
|No offers for ´happy´ Bellerin, insists Arsenal full-back´s agent|
|F1 teams up with Netflix for documentary series|
|Iker is trembling already! - Ramos hunting down Casillas´ cap record|
|Warriors leave it late to preserve winning start, Hayne injures hip|
|Silva leaves Spain squad for personal reasons|
|Egypt coach Cuper declares Salah among world´s best|
|A-League Review: Simon haunts managerless Mariners, Jakobsen opens City account|
|Ricciardo: I´ve been shot in the ankle before season has even started|
|Alvarez temporarily suspended over positive test|
|Ronaldo trumps Salah, Messi missing - winners and losers from Friday´s internationals|
|Giggs wants Bale to stay at Real Madrid|
|Canes end Highlanders´ winning run|
|Bottas ´sorry´ for qualifying crash|
|Muller and Ozil set to miss Brazil friendly|
|´I wanted to wipe the smile off your face´ - Hamilton-Vettel rivalry already simmering|
|Ramos hails Spain´s belief after Germany draw|
|Buffon not ready to walk away as Italy look to the future|
|Hamilton breaks records to take pole in Melbourne|
|Curry suffers MCL sprain in first game back from ankle injury|
|Rain ruins day three in Auckland|
|Celtics get another short-handed win, Curry injured again|
|Wozniacki exits as Venus, Konta cruise in Miami|
|Wozniacki stunned by Puig in Miami|
|Mexico 3 Iceland 0: Layun scores brace in friendly win|
|Djokovic struggles continue as Cilic, Dimitrov progress|