Faubert battling back to fitness

Julien Faubert should be back in training next week as the France winger steps up his return from an achilles injury, Alan Curbishley has exclusively revealed on WHUTV.

Faubert was hurt in the 1-0 friendly defeat by Sigma Olomouc on 17 July during the club's pre-season tour of Austria. It came little more than a fortnight after he had moved to the Boleyn Ground from Bordeaux in his homeland. George Cooper, the club's head physiotherapist, had said a month ago that Faubert was running again and was looking to focus on special movements designed to develop muscular power.

Speaking to WHUTV, Curbishley said: "We are expecting him back here at the training ground next week. He has been off in a rehab clinic in the south of France. It sounds nice but it is where the French players go to recover. He has worked ever so hard so we are hoping he may be back in contention in the new year. Certainly by the end of January. I would like to think if he has a decent rehab out on the pitches then he shouldn't be far off that."

With Scott Parker, Hayden Mullins, Mark Noble and Dean Ashton all fit again, Curbishley revealed Anton Ferdinand was still out with a hamstring injury but there was more positive news on Lee Bowyer, who is back in full training after a hernia operation. "I am sure he will put himself up for selection this weekend at Chelsea," said Curbishley, who added that "Freddie Ljungberg is fit" after missing Sunday's 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur with a migraine.

The club are looking to extend the unbeaten run to seven matches with Saturday's away trip to Chelsea, and the manager admitted: "For the past three or four weeks I have not had any selection problems but I certainly have now." To hear more from the manager, login or register for WHUTV by clicking here. For details of a special membership offer, click here.