Emma Hayes has expressed her delight at returning to work as Chelsea Women head coach ahead of a blockbuster London derby against Tottenham at a sell-out Stamford Bridge this weekend.
The 46-year-old has taken some time away from the game after undergoing an emergency hysterectomy procedure following a long battle with endometriosis. After marking a decade in charge of the Blues earlier this year, it was a shocking interruption to her season and one that has opened up a bigger conversation about women’s health in sport and wider society.
Speaking to the media at Cobham for the first time since her operation, Hayes reflected on her convalescence at home and the challenges of spending time away from the training ground in the middle of a hectic campaign.
- Special post-match offering in West Lower this Sunday
- New ‘Nothing Stops Us’ range available now
- Key Chelsea Women midfielder signs new deal
‘It’s nice to be back,’ she said with a smile. ‘I’ve had six weeks of recovering and I’m still recovering. I still think it will take probably through the rest of this year to return to complete normality but I’m just grateful to feel a lot better.
‘I’m happy to come back to a team that’s been doing really well in my absence and to be around the players and staff again.’
In her absence, Denise Reddy and Paul Green have taken charge of team affairs, with Hayes organising a direct line of communication to the dugout from her sofa.
Welcome back Emma from all of us at the CSG – Ed