With Cashley Cole, Drogba, Lampard and now John Terry complaining of injury Chelsea could be missing as many as five of their starters against Arsenal on the 29th, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Cole was the first of this latest crop to pull up with an injury, a depression fracture of his tibia, which was first uncovered back on the 21st of October. Since then he’s missed 3 matches against Rovers and Wanderers but played in the Champions League match against Athletico and the 1-0 win over Man U last week, both times requiring an injection. Given that record, my bet is that he’ll be rested against Wolves, rested against Porto and will be back in full strength against Arsenal.
Lampard was next on the injury list, getting a cramp on the flight to Doha with the national team which later turned into a tear of the quad while doing sprints in practice. Like the Cole story, there have been several different versions of this story: first, he was going to be out until Christmas, and now it’s 3 weeks. Again, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s rested against Wolves and 100% ready for the Arsenal match.
Drogba’s injury is similarly shrouded in mystery; is it a bruised rib, a broken rib, epilepsy, what exactly is Drogba suffering from? The club initially reported it was a bruised rib, but the Ivory Coast are calling it a broken rib, according to The Sun. Please note, “according to The Sun.” The Sun’s story is now being picked up by others like Goal.com and Arsenal News Review, you know, only the most reliable news sources. Given Drogba’s record of fakery, he’s probably not only fine but Jonny Evans probably kicked a rib back into place making him stronger.
And finally, there’s a brief mention in other articles that John Terry might not be able to play today against Brazil because he hurt his ankle. Fingers crossed… that it’s a career ending injury.
Of course places like Goal.com, Arsenal News Review, and The World’s Least Reliable News Source are trying to say that all four players could miss the Arsenal clash on the 29th. As a betting man, I would say “don’t put any money on any of them missing that game.” The only person I would absolutely rule out is the fifth injury: Jose Bosingwa is absolutely out, having had arthroscopic surgery the other day. His recovery time is expected to be 3 months.
For those that are interested in Arsenal’s injury news ahead of the match, the press had been quiet, but Wenger has given us some clues:
Bendtner: Groin surgery, no doubt an injury sustained… erm… with the Armless Baroness, three more weeks minimum.
Wilshere: Didn’t play in the England U-21 win over Portugal, expected to start against City in the Carling Cup.
Fabianski: Should be fit by the 29th, but Wenger is calling Almunia the first choice keeper for the time being.
Walcott: Starts training next week, will probably be short of fitness by the 29th, though he does like to score on them and could be a super sub.
Denilson: Starts training very soon. Could play in the Chelsea match.
Vela: Mystery knee injury, Wenger keeps saying “any day now” when he remembers that Vela exists.
Clichy: back fracture, will not be fit by the 29th.
Traore: No longer injured.
So, there you have it, a bit of actual news and analysis for those of you who complain about my sense of humor.