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Injuries, nice to see you again

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Oh how nice it is to have good ol' injury back in the mix at Stamford Bridge. Just three games into the Premier League season, and Chelsea are facing a mini injury crisis in midfield.

With Michael Ballack and John Obi-Mikel already struggling with knocks -- the later a muscle tear which sounds more serious than we are being led to believe -- the Blues suffered another blow over the weekend when midfield dynamo Michael Essien picked up a "serious" ankle injury in Ghana's World Cup qualifier with Libya.

It was first believed that Essien had bottled up the knee that had, in fact, bothered him during the summer. That news has quickly disappeared in favor on an ankle knock. Sky suggests the 25-year-old Ghanaian could miss up to four weeks, taking him out of key dates with Bordeaux andanchester United. Shite.

Essien, who has clearly been off the pace thus far this season -- though he was bright against Tottenham -- told Sky he didn't think he would be out too long: "My injury? It is serious but I can be ready again soon."

We can only hope. Ballack is likely to miss this weekend's match with Manchester City as he continues to recover from a bruised foot. And Obi-Wan, well, nobody really knows. That leaves only Deco and Lampard as genuine first XI guys.

Hopefully we'll see the return of Obi this weekend, his absence has been the most glaring. But, you have to worry somewhat with the list of injured at Chelsea growing seemingly by the week.