Friday 23 March 2018

Is Petr Cech in line for miraculous recovery for Champions league semi?

Chelsea's Petr Cech during a training session at Cobham Training Ground today
Chelsea's Petr Cech during a training session at Cobham Training Ground today

Jack de Menezes

Chelsea have been handed a quadruple boost ahead of their Champions League semi-final second leg with Atletico Madrid after Petr Cech joined John Terry, Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto’o in training at the club’s Cobham base ahead of Wednesday’s encounter at Stamford Bridge.

Cech was seen marching out in full kit, with his protective head guard and gloves on despite suffering a suspected dislocated shoulder in the first leg last Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho immediately ruled Cech out for the rest of the season, and with fears he would require surgery on the injury, he faced a race against time to be fit for the start of the next campaign in August.

However, his appearance stunned onlookers, as well as Terry’s after Mourinho admitted the ankle injury he suffered in the same match would keep him out for the bulk of the season, with a return only likely in the Champions League final should the Blues book their place in the Lisbon showcase.

Cech later told Sky Sports News  that he is fit to face Atletico, meaning his surprise return could come after just eight days recover if he replaces understudy Mark Schwarzer tomorrow evening.

Herer is the incident that caused his injury last week:

Atletico striker Diego Costa – a transfer target for the Blues in the summer – accidentally landed on Terry’s foot, before the centre-back also made contact with his team-mate David Luiz. Despite trying his best to continue, the limping captain was forced off and was given a minimal chance of taking his place alongside Gary Cahill for the second leg.

But it seems Terry will feature in the starting XI, and could be joined by winger Eden Hazard, who has recovered from a hamstring injury sustained in the quarter-final second-leg victory over Paris St-Germain at the beginning of April.

Hazard did travel to Madrid last week but was not risked by Mourinho, and he was left out of the squad that beat Liverpool 2-0 on Sunday as the Portuguese rotated his squad in an effort to keep his first-choice stars fit for tomorrow’s match.

Eto’o missed both trips to Madrid and Anfield having suffered a knee injury in the 2-1 defeat to Sunderland a fortnight ago. The Blues haven’t missed the striker too much given Demba Ba’s recent run of form, with the Senegalese scoring five goals in his last eight outings which included crucial strikes against Tottenham, PSG and Liverpool as well as Swansea.

Online Editors

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