Drogba: adrenalin is getting me through

Chelsea's striker Didier Drogba yesterday admitted his body is struggling to cope with the gruelling demands of chasing the Double. Drogba, 32, has enjoyed one of his best seasons at Stamford Bridge, scoring 32 goals in 40 games for Chelsea, as well as playing for Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

However, he is struggling with a groin injury which has been troubling him for months, and which flared up at half-time against Tottenham last weekend. He had to play on with the injury because manager Carlo Ancelotti had used all three substitutes.

Chelsea, who hold a one-point lead at the top of the Premier League table ahead of Sunday's home game with Stoke City, desperately need Drogba to lead the cause, following the surprise 2-1 defeat at White Hart Lane. But the Ivorian had admitted that with the club closing in on their first Premier League title for four years and with the FA Cup final against Portsmouth looming, he is unable to play at full power.

"Maybe adrenalin has got me through matches," Drogba said, "but you can't continue for long like that. The season's long and I've had quite a few niggles and I'm starting to feel it a bit. I had a hernia operation six years ago but it's playing up again and causing me discomfort.

"I will see if I need an operation, but something needs to be done because I can't continue like this next season. There's no question of having anything done now though, with the World Cup on the way."

Drogba's stark admission comes after midfielder John Obi Mikel was ruled out for three weeks with a knee injury, and it was revealed Michael Essien is unlikely to feature again this season.

Mikel, 22, suffered torn cartilage ligaments in the defeat to Tottenham and is unlikely to feature before the FA Cup final. "It's a little tear in the knee meniscus," the Nigerian said. "I won't play this weekend, and the doctors say it will take about three weeks to heal, although there will be no surgery."

The Chelsea captain, John Terry, is suspended for the Stoke game, following his red card against Tottenham last weekend, and Ricardo Carvalho is not ready to return from his ankle injury, leaving Ancelotti without both his first-choice centre-backs. Alex and Branislav Ivanovic are likely to step in. Either Michael Ballack or Juliano Belletti will deputise for Mikel.

Ancelotti will, however, be pleased by the return of Ashley Cole, who is set to make his comeback following two months out with a broken ankle sustained against Everton on 10 February. The Russian Yury Zhirkov has deputised with distinction but Ancelotti is understood to prefer Cole's better defensive strength for the visit of Stoke.

The return of Cole will also be a relief for the England manager, Fabio Capello, who had feared that the defender might miss the World Cup when he was injured.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital