Chelsea content with keeper count despite injury to Cech

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The Independent Online

Chelsea are not intending to buy a new goalkeeper during the transfer window despite the confirmation yesterday that their first-choice No 1, Petr Cech, will miss the start of the season through injury.

Chelsea are confident they have enough cover after Cech was ruled out for a month with a tear in his right calf. The 28-year-old sustained the injury in training on Tuesday and scans revealed the damage would eliminate him from the rest of the club's pre-season build-up.

Cech will also miss the Community Shield against Manchester United at Wembley on 8 August as well as the start of Chelsea's defence of the title against West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge the following weekend.

The Czech Republic's player of the year was out of action for two months earlier this year with a similar injury he sustained during Chelsea's Champions League match against Internazionale. He was replaced by Hilario for the remainder of the opening leg in Italy but Ross Turnbull played in the return leg, which Chelsea lost 1-0, after the Portuguese keeper also collected an injury.

A spokesman for Chelsea said: "Scans have shown Petr has torn a calf muscle in his right leg and is expected to be out for a month. He suffered the injury yesterday in training and is now expected to miss the start of our competitive season, as well as the remainder of our pre-season friendlies, the next of which comes at Ajax on Friday."

Both reserve goalkeepers played a part in Chelsea's double-winning season last term and are more than experienced enough to step in. Chelsea also have Jan Sebek, 19, of the Czech Republic who they bought last summer.

Turnbull, signed on a free transfer from Middlesbrough, also last summer, made his debut for the club in the Champions League against Greek side APOEL last season. His Premier League debut came against West Ham and although he conceded the goal which enabled Inter to put Chelsea out of the Champions League at Stamford Bridge, Turnbull had a competent game.

Hilario is the more experienced of the two reserves and will start the season in goal. The Portugal goalkeeper, 34, has produced some outstanding displays when called upon. Chelsea's other reserve keeper, Rhys Taylor, 20, is currently on a two-month loan with Crewe.

Chelsea are yet to decide if they will follow other Premier League clubs and ban the use of vuvuzelas at Stamford Bridge.

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