Didier Drogba should be back in action when Chelsea meet Manchester United on September 18.
The Ivory Coast international is on the mend after sustaining a heavy concussion the last time the Blues played – against Norwich City on August 27 – and he is likely to return when the Londoners travel to Old Trafford in ten days’ time.
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas says that this weekend’s trip to Sunderland is too close for Drogba, as is Tuesday’s opening Champions League group stage meeting with Bayer Leverkusen at Stamford Bridge.
"He has to be authorised medically to make his full return to training," Villas-Boas said.
"He has been doing light sessions, of course, with our physios.
"Let’s push it to the limit to try for him to be available for Man United.
"I wouldn’t say he would be available for Leverkusen."
Villas-Boas added: "The first days were, of course, tremendous pain, and he had his family supporting him.
"He had complete support from the medical staff, who were with him 24/7.
"And we’ve been getting this support to him.
"We just have to make sure that he’s fully recovered before he comes back to training because that’s the requirement you have to do neurologically."