Chelsea sweat on De Bruyne injury

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho hopes forward Kevin de Bruyne’s knee injury is not serious after the Belgian was carried off during last night’s 4-1 win over a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur.

After creating the first goal for 17-year-old Burkina Faso international and triallist Bertrand Traore, De Bruyne was injured in the act of scoring the second goal at the Shah Alam Stadium.

Mourinho said: “When he was on the floor and asking for a change, everybody on the bench, we thought the worst.

“The first assessment by the doctor was that it was not the ligaments for sure and if it is something in the meniscus, then it has to be a very small injury.

“So we believe it is not an important injury and hopefully it isn’t because the kid is a fantastic player and is showing to you match after match and showing to me in training that he is going to be a key man on the pitch.”

De Bruyne will be assessed in Kuala Lumpur today and Mourinho expects the Belgian will be fit enough to travel on to Jakarta tomorrow, rather than return to London ahead of schedule.

After impressing on loan at Werder Bremen following his move to Chelsea from Genk in January 2012, De Bruyne was linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund.

But Mourinho wanted to retain the 21-year-old, who appears eager to take his chance.

He impressed in the opening match of the pre-season tour of Asia in Bangkok last Wednesday and performed well in the opening half-hour in Malaysia until he was carried off on a stretcher.

He returned to the substitutes’ bench midway through the second half, walking gingerly.

Another player keen to impress is Traore, who is in his second six-week trial spell at Chelsea.

After impressing academy coaches in 2012, Mourinho watched a DVD of the athletic midfielder before inviting him on the Asia tour.

As he is not 18 until December, Chelsea and Traore must wait to sign a permanent deal.

Mourinho added: “Now we want to keep him. We have to wait until he becomes 18 to try to get a permit for him to stay in England.

“It’s the rules and we have to accept them.

“He plays for his national team. Sooner or later the committee has to give him a permit to play in England.

“He’s playing for his country. His country’s one of the most important countries in Africa at this moment.”

Romelu Lukaku, who scored the third goal before Victor Moses’ fourth, is another determined to take his opportunity.

In the absence of Fernando Torres, who is on holiday following the Confederations Cup, and with Manchester United clinging on to Wayne Rooney, Lukaku has scored two goals in Asia.

Mourinho is wary of comparing the Belgian to another muscular forward, Didier Drogba.

“We have to respect Didier, because Didier’s unique in Chelsea history,” Mourinho said.

“And we have to respect Lukaku and the best way to respect Lukaku is not to compare him with a legend of Chelsea Football Club.

“The kid is good.”

The Blues next travel to Jakarta, where they play the final match of their Asia tour on Thursday.


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