Thursday 2 April 2015

Drogba set for swift return

Published 12/08/2014 | 11:15

Didier Drogba could be fit for the start of the Premier League season
Didier Drogba could be fit for the start of the Premier League season

Chelsea are confident Didier Drogba will be available sooner rather than later after a scan on the striker's ankle.

The 36-year-old, back at Stamford Bridge following a two-season absence, was assessed on the Blues' return to London after going off during the first half of Sunday's friendly win over Ferencvaros in Budapest.

Neither manager Jose Mourinho or Drogba himself appeared too concerned after the match and it is understood the results were positive and a lengthy absence is unlikely.

Drogba said on chelseafc.com: "I twisted my ankle and I couldn't continue.

"In the next few days we are going to do some treatment and I hope everything will be better."

Drogba could be available for Monday's first Premier League clash at Burnley, but he is likely to begin the season as second or third-choice striker.

Diego Costa, the new signing from Atletico Madrid, is Mourinho's first choice, with Fernando Torres also an option up front.

Samuel Eto'o, Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku all left Chelsea this summer.

Costa will be introduced to the Stamford Bridge crowd as a Chelsea player for the first time on Tuesday night ahead of the final pre-season friendly with Real Sociedad.

The Brazil-born Spain striker plans to apologise for his role in eliminating the Blues from the Champions League semi-finals last season, when Atletico advanced to the final.

"Now I can say I'm really sorry for the part I played in the game we won at Stamford Bridge," he said in the London Evening Standard.

"I remember the atmosphere and the passion of the supporters. They stayed right until the end, getting behind their team, even though it was unlikely they could win after we scored two quick goals. I liked that.

"I hope my actions on the pitch and my feet will do the talking and then people can decide if I'm a good player or not, if I'm improving or not. All I can say is I love playing hard and fairly.

"Joining was an easy decision for me. We have some of the best players in the world, the best manager in the world and it's a club with great history.

"I want to improve, not only as a player but as an individual, and I believe this is the perfect place for me to do that. That's the reason I chose Chelsea and why I want to defend this shirt."

Meanwhile, Chelsea have confirmed the appointment of Carlos Lalin as assistant first-team fitness coach and gym manager.

Lalin worked under Mourinho at Real Madrid.

Jose Morais, who arrived last year as assistant first-team coach as part of Mourinho's management staff, has taken a one-year sabbatical to become manager of Saudi Arabian team Al-Shabab FC.

Press Association

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport