Ashley Cole's Latest Injury Woe Sums Up His Season at Chelsea

Garry Hayes@@garryhayesFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2014

Chelsea's Ashley Cole controls the ball during their English Premier League soccer match against Newcastle United at St James' Park, Newcastle, England, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Scott Heppell/Associated Press

"Who you calling done? You think I'm done? I'm not done," Ashley Cole says confidently into the camera for his recent Nike advert. "After 13 years at the top, I should be done, but I'm not."

It's been the narrative that has dominated Cole's season: Is he done? Well, to prove it's not the case, he needs games and after his latest injury set-back, it seems time is running out for the Chelsea man.

We're into the remaining two months of the 2013-14 season and on the horizon in every fan's mind—more so for the players—is the World Cup in Brazil.

Cole will be determined to ensure he's part of Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad in South America, although at a time when every game and performance counts, he's going to be watching from the stands, crocked.

Jose Mourinho wouldn't elaborate too much, although in his press conference ahead of Chelsea's clash with Tottenham Hotspur, the Portuguese broke the bad news, as per Chelsea's official website.

"Unfortunately [Cole] got an injury in training yesterday and he's one of the players that is out for tomorrow," explained the Chelsea manager.

"It's a lateral ligament injury, impossible for him to play tomorrow and we would say between eight and 10 days."

Given the form of Cesar Azpilicueta, Cole has endured a prolonged spell on the bench since November. Then came his performance for England against Denmark on Wednesday, showing he can still turn it on despite not seeing much action.

"It was good for me that Ashley played part of the game [for England], he hasn't played for a long time," Mourinho added. "He didn't play 90 minutes but he played 45 and that's good."

Injury was the last thing he needed.

From the highs of Wembley to the lows of Cobham—those 45 minutes for England are now worthless. Cole may have made a significant statement with his display, but when he returns from injury, he will be back to square one.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Ashley Cole of England is held by Emil Larsen of Denmark during the International Friendly match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium on March 5, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Azpilicueta will be first choice at left-back, seemingly fit and a man Mourinho knows he can rely on. In contrast, Cole will need to show his manager he too can be counted upon, but it's only in a game situation where he'll be given that chance.

Cole knew Wednesday's match was his moment and he seized it with England, but there aren't going to be many more opportunities in the coming weeks.

Those "eight and 10 days" when Cole will be unfit to play see Chelsea face Spurs, Aston Villa and Galatasaray in the return leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. And coming swiftly on the back of that is the Premier League clash with Arsenal just three days later.

At such a vital stage of the campaign, Cole will be absent like he has been for much of the season, which will be frustrating for him.

Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

Back in October, it was a rib injury that saw him sidelined for a spell when Azpilicueta gained the upper hand. Just when Cole shows signs the Spaniard may need to be looking closely over his shoulder, it's injury that gets in the way once more.

Only this time it could have far wider implications with England and Cole appearing at his fourth World Cup.

It's with a tone of intent and desire to prove otherwise that Cole asks those questions in his Nike advert, yet now the answer as to whether he is done or not seems to be out of his hands. This injury couldn't have come at a worse time.

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @garryhayes