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Alex Absent Due To Injury, Not Transfer

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One of the stranger elements of Chelsea's pre-season tour of Asia has been the complete and utter absence of Brazilian defender Alex, who you'd expect to have been given more playing time with David Luiz unavailable. The fact that Alex hasn't featured has merely fed rumours that the 29-year-old was on the way out, despite Chelsea explaining away him not playing in the first few games by invoking a 'minor injury'.

Andre Villas-Boas did claim that the Brazilian was fit and available to play once Chelsea touched down in Malaysia, but he still hasn't seen a single minute of game time so far this summer - the closest he's got to the pitch has been when he was an unused substitute in Chelsea's 4-0 win over Kitchee on Wednesday. But don't worry! We have an explanation at last:

Villas-Boas has [not] decided to keep his team laid out the same way when they take on Aston Villa in the Barclays Asia Trophy decider, a match that could see Alex involved after injury. No-one should be jumping to any conclusions yet.

-Source: ChelseaFC.com

Mystery solved, then. Alex hasn't been playing because he's been hurt, not because he's being flown to Germany in order to hook up with Bayern Munich. Which is good, if you want to keep him around Stamford Bridge. Of course, being injured for a month isn't really a particularly good thing for the poor man, especially if it's something he's re-aggravated on this tour (which, if Chelsea are being honest in their reporting, sounds like the case). Let's hope he's sufficiently recovered to play a part against Villa - he needs to get his work in now or he's going to have trouble catching up when the season actually gets underway.