Bridge targets quick return

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Wayne Bridge is targeting a return to fitness inside three weeks following successful knee surgery.

The Chelsea left-back went under the knife on Tuesday after opting not to wait until the end of the season to repair a tear in his meniscus.

As a result Bridge was ruled out of both of England's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Andorra, but the defender is expected to resume running in the coming days.

Bridge is now hoping to take inspiration from former Blues colleague Damien Duff and return to full fitness as soon as possible.

"The knee is not bad. It is as good as it can be," Bridge told Chelsea TV.

"You can't really push it too hard in the first 10 days in case of swelling in the knee so I have not pushed it too much. It feels okay.

"The test is really when you start running. A few people have been back in three weeks and I know Duffer [Damien Duff] was one of them so hopefully I can match that or beat it."

Bridge also explained how he felt he could not wait until the end of the season to have the operation as the injury grew progressively more problematic following a UEFA Champions League trip to Portugal.

"It got worse gradually," Bridge added. "I played with it in Porto and got through it. Adrenalin gets you through something when the pain is not too bad.

"The Carling Cup Final was a little bit worse, training after that and playing at Portsmouth was even worse.

"I was struggling to sprint flat out so I don't think I could compete in a game and do myself and the team justice.

"So I decided to get the operation done."