Ferreira could miss remainder of season

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The Independent Online

Chelsea have been dealt a major injury blow as defender Paulo Ferreira has suffered a suspected fracture to his right foot. The injury to the 26-year-old full-back occurred during Portugal's World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on Wednesday and is expected to rule him out for the remainder of the season.

Chelsea have been dealt a major injury blow as defender Paulo Ferreira has suffered a suspected fracture to his right foot. The injury to the 26-year-old full-back occurred during Portugal's World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on Wednesday and is expected to rule him out for the remainder of the season.

Ferreira was substituted just after the hour during the Group Three match in Bratislava and was immediately flown back to London by private jet for an assessment and scans.

If Ferreira has broken his foot, he will become the third Chelsea player to have done so this season along with Arjen Robben and Scott Parker. Robben was injured again on international duty at the weekend, damaging his calf, although he may well make a quicker than expected recovery and could be fit for Chelsea's Champions' League quarter-final second leg away to Bayern Munich in a week and a half's time.

Ferreira's injury leaves the Chelsea squad severely stretched, especially as Wayne Bridge will not play again this season due to a double fracture of his ankle while Celestine Babayaro has been sold. It will give the England defender Glen Johnson a chance, but means that Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho now has only five fit defenders and no cover at all for the full-back positions. John Terry is suffering from a sore back while Ricardo Carvalho has only just recovered from a broken toe.

Ferreira is regarded as a vital player by Mourinho and his absencewill also do little to diminish his dislike for international weeks at such a crucial stage of the season.

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