The broad smile across the face of Benoit Badiashile told its own story. After 172 days he was back on the pitch and helping Chelsea secure their place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

It was in May that Badiashile was sidelined with a hamstring injury he sustained in training. The 22-year-old's road to recovery would be a long one.

Badiashile was in Cobham throughout the summer to undertake his rehabilitation programme. Countless hours of unseen work were done in the gym and with the medical staff. Progress was made.

By the end of September, the France international had undertaken partial team training. By mid-October, he was back working with the first-team squad. However, patience was still required.

The Frenchman was among the substitutes for our draw with Arsenal. A small milestone. He was again on the bench at the weekend as we hosted Brentford at Stamford Bridge, but no minutes were handed to the defender.

Yet the visit of Blackburn Rovers in the Carabao Cup provided the ideal opportunity to reintegrate Badiashile into the Chelsea starting XI. It was one that Mauricio Pochettino elected to take.

Badiashile started and completed 60 minutes. More noteworthy was that he opened the scoring and set Chelsea on the way to a 2-0 victory. His goal came on the half-hour mark; a composed finish after a corner had not been dealt with.

‘I’m so happy to be able to help the team with this goal,' Badiashile said after the win. ‘It has been a difficult period for me because I’ve not been on the pitch, but I’m very happy to now be back with the team.'

As Badiashile headed toward the corner flag in celebration, he was embraced by a friend: Axel Disasi.

The two forged a close bond while at Monaco and that has only strengthened at Stamford Bridge. That Badiashile was partnered in the Chelsea defence by Disasi made his return that bit easier.

‘It was so good because we know each other very well,' explained Badiashile. 'It was easy for me to play alongside him because I did so for a long time [at Monaco]. He is a close friend so I am happy.'

Our victory over Blackburn ensured our progress to the last eight of the Carabao Cup, in which we will welcome Premier League opposition in Newcastle United.

Yet in addition to progressing in the competition, Badiashile highlighted the importance of bouncing back after a frustrating defeat to Brentford at the weekend.

‘When you lose a game, you have a bad feeling,' he said. 'But as players, you have to be focused on the next game.

‘A win is always something great for the feeling [of the team]. It was a tough game but we got the win. That is what's most important.’