Chelsea relief as Drogba fears eased

DIDIER DROGBA has been given the all-clear to resume training tomorrow after being carried off against Tottenham on Sunday with a calf injury.

The Ivory Coast international is set to figure in the squad for the trip to Wigan on Saturday after a scan revealed there was no serious damage to his calf.

However, he will not be included for tonight’s game against Queens Park Rangers in the Carling Cup as Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti looks to blood some fringe and academy players.

“Didier had a scan and there’s no problem with his calf,” confirmed Chelsea’s assistant boss Ray Wilkins. “It was just the most horrendous bout of cramp.

“We thought he couldn’t release the muscle and it might be something more nasty but he’ll be able to take part on Saturday. It is very good news for us.”

Wilkins also confirmed academy players Sam Hutchinson, Fabio Borini and Jeffrey Bruma will be in the squad and Joe Cole and Yuri Zhirkov will be in the startling line-up against Rangers.

“We haven’t finalised the side yet but Joe Cole and Zhirkov will both start, which is good news,” added Wilkins. “They’ll be very important players for us as the season progresses.

“This gives us an opportunity to bring these players in and use them later in the season. If we progress, hopefully we’ll be able to use them in the Carling Cup. The transfer ban, although we’ll appeal it, offers younger players at the club a great opportunity to impress. They’ll be in the squad. Whether they start is another matter.”

Chelsea were sent crashing out of the Carling Cup last season by then Coca-Cola Championship side Burnley and Wilkins does not want to face the same humiliation against their rich west London neighbours.

Rangers, though, are under the spotlight after co-owner Flavio Briatore was banned by Formula One’s governing body after the ‘crashgate’ scandal. According to Football League rules, no-one can own a club if they are banned by another sporting governing body. The league have asked the FIA for more details of Briatore’s ban before deciding whether to take action.


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