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By ESPN Staff

Forgotton man Cole planning return

Chelsea's forgotten man Joe Cole is aiming to return better than ever when he finally recovers from the stress fracture of his left foot.

Cole has missed much of the season with the injury but hopes to have the protective boot removed in the next few days and has already set his sights on helping the club to more glory before the end of the season.

The England midfielder is determined to stay positive as he continues his rehabilitation process and insists the time he spent out of action has helped him to re-analyse his game completely.

Cole declared: 'I've had the chance to look at everything in my game. Eating, weights, power - I'm trying to take this time out to come back leaner, stronger and fitter.

'I won't just sit on my backside and wait to come back, I want to hit the ground running.

'I was healthy and professional before but I've really sat down and thought about my whole game.'

It has been a difficult time for the youngster but he is adamant he will not get depressed about his situation.

Cole added: 'It's easy in life when things don't go well, it's easy to come in and be miserable.

'I come in with a smile on my face. Other people don't need to see Joe being miserable because he's injured.

'I try to keep a smile on my face. It's too easy to let yourself get down. I don't let myself get down. I don't need that for my body. I need to stay positive to help my body to heal.

'Things are hard, it's not easy. But I work as hard as I can. Lots of people might have an awful time at work and they go home and are wallowing in it. I won't.

'I had one moment when I was hacked off. I was speaking to my mate and he said 'what are you moaning about I've got to go and drive a fork-lift truck for seven hours, I'd much prefer being an injured footballer'. My family and friends won't let me be miserable.'

Cole's season was initially blighted by a knee injury which took longer than normal to heal. He returned to action and scored on his first start against Blackburn in the Carling Cup.

But after Chelsea's draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford, Cole discovered the full extent of his foot injury.

When he makes his next comeback, Cole wants to ensure he is free from all his aches and niggles.

'Maybe my body was telling me I needed a rest,' explained Cole. 'I want to make myself the best athletically that I've ever been.'