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By ESPN Staff

Ashley Cole to return in three weeks

Chelsea and England defender Ashley Cole is staying upbeat and eyeing the end of his current injury exile.

The left-back was injured during his team's Barclays Premiership clash with Blackburn at Stamford Bridge on January 31.

He twisted his left knee - and it was feared he may be ruled out for the remainder of the campaign, until he was diagnosed with posterior cruciate ligament damage.

The left-back now believes he will be back in action in around three weeks.

He explained: 'I didn't rip the cruciate which is a good thing - if I did that is maybe me out for eight or nine months - but with this I'm looking at six to eight weeks.

'I'm getting stronger now and working hard and hopefully I'll be back in the next few weeks.'

Cole told Chelsea TV he is pleased to have stayed involved with his team-mates, rather than being given time off and possibly recuperating overseas.

He explained: 'It's not worth going to sit on a beach when I can be training and get fit - it's good to be round the other lads because there's good banter.

'You try to keep going - but you can't let things get too relaxed and not work enough.

'It's been hard for me - but I'm enjoying it.'