Petr Cech will return for Chelsea against Bolton tomorrow relieved that reserve goalkeeper Hilario is recovering from his nasty head injury.
Hilario started Chelsea’s 4-0 victory over Bolton in the fourth round of the Carling Cup on Wednesday night but was forced out of action in the first-half through concussion.
Goalkeeper Cech, who still wears protective head gear after fracturing his skull against Reading in 2006, visited Hilario at his home yesterday while he was recovering from the injury.
Cech was rested for the Carling Cup tie but while he enjoyed watching the game from the stands, he was concerned for the condition of his understudy.
He said: “I enjoyed my day off but then not so much the game because when your fellow goalkeeper and friend is injured in the game, especially on the head – it is not pleasing to see.
“I went to see him at home but he was already feeling better. Of course it may take a few days but he felt fine and there is no major injury.”
Cech was also pleased with the performance of a Chelsea side full of fringe players and cheered by third-choice goalkeeper Ross Turnbull’s performance when he replaced Hilario.
Turnbull, who signed a four-year deal after joining on a free transfer from Middlesbrough last summer, suffered a terrible debut for the reserves when he made a number of errors in a 4-0 defeat to Aston Villa in August.
So Cech was delighted to see the 24-year-old keep a clean sheet after coming on in difficult circumstances against Wanderers.
“I enjoyed the performance of the players against Bolton and a clean sheet is very good,” added Cech.
“Hilario made a very important save when he was injured, and when Ross came in it was good to see him playing well with confidence.”
Chelsea made light work of Bolton with two goals in the first-half from Salomon Kalou and Florent Malouda and two in the second from Deco and substitute Didier Drogba.
But Cech expects a different game at the Reebok tomorrow when the two teams cross swords again in the Barclays Premier.
Chelsea will welcome back rested stars John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ricardo Carvalho and Nicolas Anelka while Ashley Cole is expected to have recovered from his ankle problem.
“They are usually very aggressive and put bodies into the box,” said Cech.
“It is a big fight. Wednesday was not the real Bolton I would say, I was a bit surprised but at home it will be a different story.
“They know whatever went wrong cannot be repeated or they will lose 4-0 again, and can have a different approach to the game. Psychologically they know it can’t really get worse which can be a boost.”
Chelsea’s clean sheet on Wednesday was their eighth in a row at home – a new top flight record for the club.
“It’s very good, the last few games have been four or five-nil, but we have had some close games against QPR, Tottenham, Liverpool and Porto, so it is good to keep clean sheets,” added the Czech international.
“You know you just have to score one goal. If you do you are confident the three points is yours.”