Rebuilt: the 6 million dollar man Benayoun


Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun is set to resume full training nearly five months after undergoing surgery on a torn Achilles tendon.

The news comes as a welcome boost following Tuesday's 2-1 victory over leaders Manchester United.

Benayoun said: "I'm feeling really good and progressing well. I hope to return to full training with Chelsea within a week or two."

Benayoun, 30 is expected to be available for both the Champions League quarter-finals, assuming Chelsea finish the job against FC Copenhagen, and Premier League run-in as Chelsea try to secure a Champions League place for next season.

The Israel captain has made only six appearances following his £6m move from Liverpool last summer. He limped off with a calf injury against Newcastle in the Carling Cup in September.

A scan in Tel Aviv several weeks later, while he was on international duty, found the more serious Achilles rupture and Benayoun underwent surgery in Sweden.

He said: "My hope is to be match-fit towards the end of the month, around the time of the Euro 2012 qualifiers. I'm not sure if I'll be able to take part in Israel's games. That is about the time I expect to be fit – a few days this way or that. You never know with these injuries."

Benayoun recalled how his initial reaction to the problem was one of devastation, when told he would be out for several months.

He said: "It wasn't easy to be given the verdict about the injury. But the moment I'd undergone the operation and the surgeon told me about other players who had fully recovered from the same injury and returned to play, I began to feel calmer.

"I really believe in myself now and I've been running for quite a few weeks, sometimes with the ball."

Oldham Athletic midfielder Dean Furman is still in the running for the Mitre Goal of Year award. Originally selected for a shortlist of 10, the former Chelsea and Rangers player survived the cut for the final five for his 30-yard scorcher against Notts County. The winner will be selected on March 20.

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