Posted on: Fri 23 Feb 2007

Ashley Cole has handed the timing of his return to first team football over to José Mourinho after the player declared himself satisfied with his fitness.


Cole was back in action for the reserves on Wednesday after three weeks out with a knee injury. He played an hour of a 1-0 win at Reading and told Chelsea TV afterwards:


'I was a little bit tired at the end but the first game in three weeks, it's a start. I am not too sure when I will play for the first team again. It will be down to the manager.'


The left-back trained with the squad on Thursday afternoon.


His rapid recovery has surprised many who witnessed the painful moment Cole tweaked a knee ligament against Blackburn at Stamford Bridge. He estimates he is back in half the time first thought and believes the reason, at least in part, is down to hard work.


'I was going in at nine o'clock and coming home at five or six. As a player you always want get back fit playing again and we have good physios and people to treat you at the training ground.'