Fears persist over extent of Cech's torn calf muscle

Chelsea are hoping that the tear to Petr Cech's calf, sustained in the hard-fought goalless draw against Schalke in the Champions League on Tuesday, can be managed without the goalkeeper having to undergo surgery.

If an operation is required it is feared that the 25-year-old could be out for up to a month. Cech is certainly set to miss Chelsea's home league encounter with Everton this weekend, while the club will also want him to absent himself from forthcoming international duty – with the Czech Republic having two routine qualifiers for Euro 2008 – as he recuperates.

Sunday's match has also tentatively been ear-marked for the return of John Terry, although his optimism – that he is recovering quickly from the knee problems which have ruled him out for the past few weeks – is not universally shared at Chelsea.

The nightmare for the club would be to lose both Terry and Cech at the same time, as they did so damagingly last season, although the injuries are far less serious than the ones sustained in the last campaign and should not derail them as they did then.

Nevertheless Cech cut a disconsolate, frustrated figure as he limped on crutches onto the flight back from Germany after damaging his right calf in a first-half challenge.

And the way in which the manager, Avram Grant, explained to the club director – and Roman Abramovich's fixer – Eugene Tenenbaum in the departures' lounge suggested that the injury was severe. The Israeli made violent tearing signals with his hands as he spoke to Tenenbaum.

Still, after a scan yesterday Chelsea were sounding more optimistic, describing Cech's injury as a "small tear". If it is worse than that – and Cech is out for a month – then he would miss league games against Derby County and West Ham United and the Champions League tie away to Rosenborg as well as the Everton game.

It's hardly the most taxing list of fixtures and the stand-in captain, Frank Lampard, brushed aside the concerns in endorsing the credentials of Cech's understudy, Carlo Cudicini, who came on in Germany and kept a clean sheet. He has only previously played in the League Cup this season and was beaten three times by Leicester City."

"Without a doubt, he is basically a first-team goalkeeper," Lampard said of the Italian. "It's only because of Petr Cech and the way he has played in the last few years that Carlo has been there [on the bench].

"He has always been the professional that he is and when he comes on he always performs. For me, he is one of the best in the league, forgetting the fact that he is our second keeper. It's very impressive."

Which is more than Chelsea were against Schalke. A draw was highly flattering as they laboured, rode their luck and were indebted to some wayward finishing by the home side who twice hit the woodwork and were desperately unlucky. The performance punctured, a little, the euphoria of seven straight victories for Chelsea who, nevertheless, still lead Group B and need one more win to guarantee qualification.

"You cannot be pretty all the time," Lampard said. "We have won seven on the spin and you cannot keep playing better and better.

"We didn't play particularly well, it was a very tough game. Resilience maybe, bit of luck, I suppose you do need that at times and you have to come away and dig in sometimes. It was a very difficult game."

Champions League Group B

Results: Chelsea 1 Rosenborg 1; Schalke 04 0 Valencia 1; Rosenborg 0 Schalke 04 2; Valencia 1 Chelsea 2; Chelsea 2 Schalke 04 0; Rosenborg 2 Valencia 0; Schalke 04 0 Chelsea 0; Valencia 0 Rosenborg 2.

Remaining fixtures: 28 November: Rosenborg v Chelsea; Valencia v Schalke 04. 11 December: Chelsea v Valencia; Schalke 04 v Rosenborg.

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Sport
Peter Moores was criticised for failing to handle top players when he last led the England team
sportFive years after being sacked from the job, Peter Moores to be named a cricket coach
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environmentGardeners rally round the endangered bumblebee
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit