Gary Cahill missed Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal festivities against Spurs on account of illness, but as it turns out, the viral infection was only the start of the defender’s ailments. As he’s revealed to the Evening Standard’s Simon Johnson, Cahill has been suffering from gallbladder issues his entire career, going back to childhood even.
“If you get it in midweek, it tends to be okay. But a night before a game is not ideal because you can be up all night. But it was this, on top of the viral infection, so when I was in there they tested me and wanted to keep me in.”
“Thankfully I got rid of the pain and recovered but it was just too late [to make the semi-final]. I’d not trained one minute, I’d not eaten anything and I’d lost a bit of weight. It was obviously not ideal me going into the game. I was disappointed with that but I’m happy I’m over that now.”
Cahill’s worries extended beyond just that one game, too, as he feared that if the pain got too much (and especially if it got inflamed), they’d have to operate and take his gallbladder out. Surgery is usually a last resort; most patients just learn to deal with managing the condition and the associated recurring pain.
“It [the gallbladder] was causing me a lot of pain and that’s why we went to hospital to check it all out. They kept me in to keep an eye on everything. It’s something I’ve had since I was small. I have been aware of it and it is just a matter of keeping an eye on it.”
“The worst thing at the time last week was if they had to take it [the gallbladder] out and that would have set me back for the season. I was happy that wasn’t the case. It’s a matter of monitoring it. There have been times when I know it’s going to come on and I’d take some strong painkillers for it.”
And if all that wasn’t enough, after he returned to training, apparently someone stepped on his forehead. When it rains, it pours, as they say.
“Someone stood on my head [on the Monday] so it feels like I have been in the wars.”
Given all that, Cahill still threw himself at the aerial ball on Tuesday night to head Chelsea back into the lead on the stroke of half-time, risking not just a step but a full-force boot to the head this time as Diego Costa was attempting a bicycle kick at the same time. Fortunately we didn’t have to deal with any such outcome and instead got to celebrate three important points in the title race.
“It’s a good end to the week because it was a nightmare for me”
-Gary Cahill; source: Evening Standard
"It feels like a massive step, to be honest. It's the first time in a long time that we've played [before Tottenham] so we knew how important it was to get the win. We're delighted today, we played well and deserved the win."
“This win leaves us in a good position. We are just concentrated on what we have to do, we have a big game this weekend, a difficult game so we need to rest and recover and be right for that...”
-Gary Cahill; source: Chelsea FC
Nathan Aké stepped up in Cahill’s absence against Spurs, but having the acting captain back on Tuesday turned out to make a big difference as well. Now we have six games left, which hopefully will give both of them some important minutes.