Didier Drogba Injury: Updates on Chelsea Star's Ankle and Return

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2014

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA - JULY 27: Didier Drogba of FC Chelsea looks on prior the Pre Season Friendly  match between FC Olimpija Ljubljana and FC Chelsea at Stozice stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Updates from Monday, Aug. 18

Didier Drogba is on the bench for Chelsea's opener vs. Burnley, the club confirmed:

He later made a substitute appearance late in the match (via Chelsea):

Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 13

Jose Mourinho has given Didier Drogba a chance of featuring in Chelsea's Premier League opener against Burnley on Monday.

Mourinho offered the following when asked about Drogba's ankle, per Michael Hunguenin of Goal.com:

He's good.

I don't want to say [he will be] ready for Monday but, with the quality of our medical department and the mentality he has, I'm not saying it's impossible for him to recover for Monday.

Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 12

Didier Drogba could be out for as many as four months, reports the Daily Mirror's Darren Lewis on Tuesday.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho provides an update on Drogba's status, (via Dan Levene of Getwestlondon.co.uk):

The Chelsea striker fell awkwardly on his ankle, and Lewis reports that the club are privately bracing themselves for the worst:

Chelsea are sweating on the fitness of Didier Drogba amid fears that the striker could be out for up to four months with an ankle injury.

The Blues have responded by insisting the prognosis for the Ivory Coast marksman is “a matter of weeks and not months”.

But there are still concerns that he could miss a significant chunk of the new season.

Matt Barlow of the Daily Mail delivers a rather less serious prediction for Drogba, reporting that the veteran striker will only likely miss the season opener against Burnley:

Drogba hopes to resume training before the end of the week after scan yesterday showed no serious damage to ligaments but Jose Mourinho is not likely to risk the 36-year-old at Burnley on Monday if there is any doubt about his readiness.

Original Text

Didier Drogba lasted less than half an hour in his first start since returning to Chelsea, limping off after 28 minutes as the Blues beat Ferencvaros 2-1 in Budapest on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho's side managed to overturn a one-goal deficit to win the game through goals from Ramires and Cesc Fabregas, the former of which was captured by Bleacher Report UK:

However, Drogba's ankle injury—suffered as he leapt to win a header in the Ferencvaros penalty area—will be a major concern ahead of their Premier League opener against Burnley.

The Ivorian initially attempted to play on after receiving treatment on the pitch, but eventually was forced off at the Groupama Arena as he could not continue, per the club's Twitter feed: 

Marca.com's Staff speculates Drogba "could be sidelined for anywhere from four to six months."

Drogba also spoke about his injury with Chelsea's official website:

‘I twisted my ankle and I couldn’t continue,’ the Ivorian explained. ‘In the next few days we are going to do some treatment and I hope everything will be better.’

There is, as yet, no confirmation of how long the 36-year-old will be out for. However, with just Diego Costa and Fernando Torres as Chelsea's other striking options, Mourinho will be eager to see Drogba return to full fitness.

Drogba re-signed for his second spell at Stamford Bridge last month on a one-year deal and retired from international football last week, per Sky Sports.  

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA - JULY 27: Team manager of Chelsea Jose Mourinho looks on prior the Pre Season Friendly match between FC Olimpija Ljubljana and Chelsea at Stozice stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Get
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Mourinho is no doubt hopeful that Drogba's experience—he won 10 trophies previously with Chelsea—and physicality will help the Blues in their bid for silverware this season, with captain John Terry convinced he is as good as ever, per Chelsea TV (h/t The Guardian):

Didier’s still the same. He’s been a nightmare to play against in training. He’s still physically strong, sharp and hungry as well. It’s important Didier is here because he brings that mentality of wanting to win every day and that rubs off on people like Kurt Zouma and the other young players he’s playing against.

However, if Drogba is out for any length of time, Chelsea will be worryingly short up front, relying heavily on new man Costa, especially after the sale of Romelu Lukaku, a risky move from Mourinho per the Daily Star's Bruce Archer:

Indeed, an attacking trio that includes perennial underperformer Torres does seem somewhat slight, especially as Chelsea will be looking to win the Premier League this season.

A lack of goals from their forwards punished the Blues last season as they came third in the English top flight. While the addition of the excellent Costa will go some way to solving that, the fitness of Drogba will also be key if Mourinho is to, once again, claim a Premier League crown.


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