Michael Ballack is delighted to be back in training at Chelsea.

The German midfielder underwent an ankle operation at the end of last season and only rejoined his team-mates for training this week.

He has been buoyed by his return to full training - and the former Bayern Munich star is now looking to take the next step in his rehabilitation.

"Six months is a long time and it was my first injury when I have been out for such a long time," Ballack told Chelsea TV.

"It's a great feeling after so many months being in the gym and training on my own to be training with the team.

"I am happy to be back. I will go step-by-step now and I will see if I will improve."

Chelsea manager Avram Grant is expecting to have Ballack available for selection in around a month's time.

Grant said: "Ballack has trained with us this week in two training sessions.

"His progress is very good and I think he will be available if nothing else happens in four to five weeks. That is not long for a player that didn't train for six months."