Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard said N'Golo Kante will resume training "in the next two or three days" as he steps up his recovery from a groin strain.
Kante missed Chelsea's 2-1 loss to Manchester United in the EFL Cup fourth round at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
The France international has not featured since injuring his groin during the warm-up ahead of his country's Euro 2020 qualifier against Iceland on October 14.
Lampard provided an update on Kante post-match and revealed the Chelsea star is set to return to training before Saturday's clash with Premier League strugglers Watford.
"Training in the next two or three days," Lampard told reporters. "Hopefully [before the international break]. It's important, he's a top player.
"I'd have liked to have given Jorginho and [Mateo] Kovacic a rest tonight because of the work they've put in, but I couldn't today because of N'Golo, Ross [Barkley] and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] long-term. I couldn't make the changes I wanted to today. It is what it is."