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Chelsea Injury Update: On Alex and Mikel and... Yossi Benayoun?

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We've got a whole raft of injury information from Carlo Ancelotti and Chelsea, with updates on John Obi Mikel, David Luiz, Alex, and Yossi Benayoun. Chelsea FC's official sites quotes Ancelotti as being slightly concerned about the first two, who picked up minor knee and hamstring injuries respectively on Tuesday when the Blues triumphed 2-1 over Manchester United:

After the game we had a problem with David Luiz. Until now he was not able to train. Obviously I hope he will train [on Saturday], and with Mikel, he had a little problem on his knee in the warm-up before the game. He had a scan yesterday and everything was okay, so I hope also he can train [on Saturday] .

The two will probably be available for Blackpool on Monday, but obviously that's not 100% confirmed. Losing David Luiz for a game would represent a major blow to Chelsea's defence, with the Brazilian centre half nothing short of a revelation in his first two starts with the club (although to be fair he probably does deserve a one-game suspension for his second-half fouls on Wayne Rooney earlier in the week). Hopefully both Luiz and Mikel will be fit and ready to go - better to have all our options for the visit to Bloomfield Road rather than the squad selection forced.

Meanwhile, we've got news on long term absentees Alex (who was supposed to be out until the end of January, if you recall) and Yossi Benayoun, who wasn't really supposed to have a torn Achilles tendon at all. Both have started to train again, according to Ancelotti, and Alex in particular is reasonably close to a return:

Benayoun is starting to train on the grass outside alone, and it is difficult to say when he will be fit. Alex will come back next week and after that, I think Friday, when he comes back we will check him and take a decision. I think Alex is very close to recovery. Not for Copenhagen, but we hope for the next game in the Champions League he will be fit.

Although the manager didn't really give a concrete schedule for Benayoun's return, the midfielder was a little more optimistic, announcing in an interview with the Jewish Chronicle (reported by Sky Sports) that he may be ready for game action by the end of the month:

I'm feeling really good and progressing well. I hope to return to full training with Chelsea within a week or two. My hope is to be match fit towards the end of the month.

Benayoun's injury, a torn Achilles tendon, has kept him out for most of the season and has been a major blow to Chelsea's midfield depth. Having him back in the squad for the run-in as the team tries to secure a Champions League berth will be extremely helpful. With Frank Lampard out of sorts having an experienced player with Benayoun's passing ability combined with a pair of excellent strikers in Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres could make life far easier for the Blues.

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