All the money in the world cannot prevent an injury crisis, it seems. Chelsea are concerned for the fitness of their captain John Terry ahead of tomorrow's trip to Aston Villa, knowing that if he fails to recover from the back injury that kept him out of England's game against Montenegro on Tuesday, then they are struggling to name a fully-fit back-four.
Terry's defensive partner Alex is already out with a thigh injury and young centre-half Jeffrey Bruma was forced to withdraw from the Netherlands' Under-21 squad because of a hamstring problem. The circumstances could prompt first-team recalls for Jose Bosingwa and Paulo Ferreira.
Bosingwa has not played since the 2-1 defeat at Villa in October 2009 after sustaining a knee injury that later resulted in surgery. Manager Carlo Ancelotti could switch Michael Essien or Ferreira to a role alongside Branislav Ivanovic in the heart of the defence, with Bosingwa at right-back.
Ferreira is ready for the challenge as Chelsea, who should welcome back England midfielder Frank Lampard after a groin strain, look to maintain their four-point lead at the top of the Premier League. The Portuguese defender is back to full fitness again, following the cruciate knee injury he suffered last term. "Last season I didn't play much but the games I had I tried to give everything and I finished the season well," he said. "This season I had a good pre-season because last season I was recovering from the knee operation. This season I am enjoying it a lot, working hard and always ready to play if the manager wants. I've had chances to play and given 100 per cent and tried to help the team.
"The cruciate is not an easy injury," Ferreira added, "it's hard to come back at 100 per cent. You have in your mind that you can get hurt, it takes a bit of time and you need to be strong, to make sure you go into challenges and not get hurt.
"After that difficulty I felt well and got a few consecutive matches where I was feeling much more confident. I don't know what will happen, let's see. I want to keep going as long as I can. I think I can keep going, I have to work hard and not have any more injury problems, because when you reach an age where you start having injuries it's hard, but you need to play games. When you are young if you don't play for a while you are still fresh but as you get older it's more difficult to come back in."
Ferreira is enjoying a new lease of life after retiring from international football. The right-back's Portugal career spanned eight years, 62 caps and four major international tournaments but he has no regrets about his decision.
"My first ambition is to keep winning, to play and win until the end of my career if possible," he said. "I am still in a big club with ambition and I have ambitions as well. I want to win titles until the end and I'll try to do this.
"I can say that if I retired now, what I achieved has been good. I am really happy but I want to keep winning. I think it's important."
Ferreira signed a new contract in 2008, keeping him at Stamford Bridge until 2013, and despite seeing fellow Portugal internationals Ricardo Carvalho and Deco leave the club in the summer he remains happy in London. "When you make a contract with the club you always think about finishing the contract. When I signed here for five years I was thinking to finish and staying here until that time, and I have always been happy in London.
"That's why we agreed a new deal in 2008, I was really happy and my family was happy here. It was almost five years at that time and I decided to stay longer. The club was happy with me and that's why I stayed."Reuse content