New shoulder injury may end Duff's season

Chelsea suffered a blow to their Champions' League ambitions yesterday when their winger Damien Duff was ruled out potentially for the rest of the season.

The club's record £17m signing dislocated his shoulder for the second time this season in a fall during training at the club's base near Heathrow Airport. The Irishman has been a key figure in Claudio Ranieri's plans since his summer move from Blackburn Rovers and was badly missed during the team's 3-1 defeat in their Champions' League semi-final first leg in Monaco last week, when he was still recovering from a virus that kept him out of three games.

The Chelsea manager had been hoping that Duff would be available for the second leg at Stamford Bridge next Wednesday. However, he has been deprived of a vital source of attacking inspiration for a game in which Chelsea must score at least twice to have a chance of reaching the final.

Ranieri said Duff might need an operation to solve his shoulder problems after this latest setback. He said: "It's important to wait one week and then we will decide what is the best for him. Of course, he could miss the rest of the season but maybe there is a chance to see him again."

He explained that Duff had suffered the fall in a tackle with Glen Johnson, who is now back in contention after recovering from an ankle injury. "Duff fell against the shoulder and it dislocated again," Ranieri said. "He had recovered his stamina and strength, and he is very important for us. But that's football. What can we do? Nothing, just think without him for the next matches and try to do our best."

Duff will miss the remaining three Premiership games - against Southampton, Manchester United and Leeds United - as Chelsea attempt to finish second in the League. While there is a slim chance that the Irishman could be fit in time for the Champions' League final on 26 May if Chelsea did go through, it is far more likely that his season is over.

At least, Ranieri could have the goalkeeper, Carlo Cudicini, back to face the French Ligue 1 side. The Italian broke a bone in his hand during training in mid-March and has not played since, with the fourth-choice keeper Marco Ambrosio called in to replace him. Ambrosio was at fault for at least one of Monaco's three goals in the first leg.

Cudicini returned to full training this week and could be ready for Saturday's game at home to Southampton, but the Monaco match is a more realistic target.

Marcel Desailly's appeal against a three-game ban for elbowing Monaco's Fernando Morientes is set to be heard Friday, but regardless of how that pans out Ranieri is counting on William Gallas to be back for the second leg.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
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

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on