Rafael Benitez 'feeling good' over injuries to Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole
Pair expected to miss Europa League tie on Thursday
Wednesday 10 April 2013
England defenders Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole are recovering well from their recent injury setbacks, Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez has confirmed.
Cahill (knee) and Cole (hamstring) are stepping up their recoveries, but both are still likely to miss crucial matches before the end of the season, including tomorrow's Europa League quarter-final second leg at Rubin Kazan.
"The feeling from both is really good," Benitez said.
Centre-back Cahill has had a knee operation after being ruled out of England's World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Montenegro last month.
The 27-year-old has not played since suffering the injury in the Barclays Premier League defeat of West Ham on March 17 and is set to miss a further two weeks or more after the minor meniscus operation, but Benitez is optimistic a return is near.
"He had an operation," Benitez said.
"We did it very quickly on the Saturday of the Southampton game (March 30)."
Cole suffered a hamstring injury in the Easter Monday win over Manchester United, two days after the Southampton defeat in the Premier League.
Cole's understudy Ryan Bertrand (illness) is doubtful for the trip to Moscow, when Chelsea will bid to confirm their progress to the semi-finals following last week's 3-1 first-leg win.
If Bertrand joins Cole in missing out, Benitez could field Paulo Ferreira or young midfielder Nathan Ake at left-back at the Luzhniki Stadium.
There is good news over Demba Ba, the match-winner in the FA Cup quarter-final replay against United, who is expected to be fit for the holders' semi-final with Manchester City on Sunday.
The 27-year-old striker was taken off at half-time of last weekend's 2-1 Premier League win over Sunderland with an ankle injury after a first-half challenge by Craig Gardner.
Ba did not take part in full training yesterday and is cup-tied for Moscow, having represented Newcastle earlier in the competition, but should be fit to be considered for Wembley.
Benitez said: "Demba Ba did not train today (Tuesday), just as a precaution. "It's not too serious. He will not go to Moscow. Hopefully he can train here and be okay for the weekend."
Long-term absentee Oriol Romeu (knee) is targeting a pre-season return.
Latest in Sport
Raheem Sterling to Manchester City: Winger to report for Liverpool training on today but Reds braced for third City bid this week
Morgan Schneiderlin to Arsenal: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United; Raheem Sterling to Manchester City
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Kyrgios set for heavy fine for giving up game during loss to Richard Gasquet
Nick Kyrgios praises fans smearing Vegemite and Nutella on their faces in support of Wimbledon star
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture