Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez admits skipper John Terry could travel to the Club World Cup next month.
While the 31-year-old is making good progress from a knee injury he will not play against West Ham on Saturday or the Champions League clash with Nordsjaelland in midweek.
The Blues only have one other game, a trip to Sunderland, before they go to Japan in their bid to be crowned world champions, and Benitez believes Terry could be ready for that match.
Benitez said: "It's a question of confidence. When you forget you have that problem in your knee is when you are ready.
"He's pushing - 'I want to be there, I want to be involved' - but still he will need some time.
"It's a knee, not just a muscle. You have to see the reaction when you turn. You cannot put him in a position where he could get injured again."
Terry has seen just 130 minutes of first-team football since the beginning of October due to a combination of his racism ban and injury.
Benitez has been impressed by the 31-year-old's mentality since his own appointment as Chelsea boss.
He said: "Early this morning, he was in front of me walking on to the pitch and he didn't know I was following him.
"Three young players were coming along and the way he approached them was quite positive."