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Benayoun eyes spring comeback

    Yossi Benayoun has made the first small steps towards a comeback following surgery on a torn Achilles.

    The Chelsea midfielder is still a long way from fitness after suffering the injury in October.

    Benayoun said: "I only recently discarded my crutches and now I am able to walk properly. It will still be some months until I'm playing again. I've started working harder now to strengthen my body so that I will return a stronger and better player."

    The Israel captain is targeting the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Latvia and Georgia for his comeback. He said: "That's the aim, but it is impossible to know the exact time that I will be able to return. I expect it will be March or April but the main thing is to be 100 per cent fit and enjoy my football for a few more years."

    Benayoun's absence has coincided with a poor run of results for Chelsea, who have slipped to third in the Premier League. Benayoun said: "I don't think Chelsea especially need me at the moment but I'd love to be able to help them. It's impossible to win all the time. Even Barcelona go through poor spells. Chelsea will pull out of it and challenge for all the major trophies."

    Speaking about his long-term plans, Benayoun said: "My dream is to be manager of the Israel team one day."

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