Essien in running to face Spurs

Scans showed he suffered only a minor tendon problem in Saturday’s
victory over West Ham. Essien had to be helped from the field
shortly before the hour mark of the Blues’ 3-0 derby win at
Stamford Bridge after pulling up with what appeared to be a left
knee injury. That immediately caused concern, with the midfielder
having missed significant parts of the past two seasons with
cartilage and ligament problems in both knees. Manager Carlo
Ancelotti attempted to play down fears of a recurrence of those
issues after the game, describing the injury as “muscle” related.
Scans on Tuesday showed the problem actually was with a tendon but
the 28-year-old escaped any serious damage and will be monitored
ahead of Saturday evening’s Spurs match. Chelsea said in a
statement on their official website: “Michael had a minor problem
with a tendon above his knee during the West Ham game and came off
as a precaution. “Scans show no significant issues in that area.
“We will look at him over the course of this week with regards to
availability for the weekend.” The loss of Essien for the final
four games of the season would have been a blow to Chelsea’s slim
hopes of retaining the Premier League title. The midfielder had
begun to rediscover his form after Ancelotti restored the Blues’
three-man midfield with John Obi Mikel in the anchor role, allowing
Essien to get further forward. Should the Ghanaian fail to recover
in time for this weekend, his place could be taken by Ramires, who
had been expected to return after two and a half weeks out with a
hamstring injury. Fellow Brazilian Alex was also due to be be
available on Saturday having also tweaked a hamstring in Chelsea’s
Champions League defeat at Manchester United. That was the
defender’s first start for four and a half months following knee
surgery and he is desperate to play a part in helping the champions
try to complete the greatest comeback in Premier League title
history. “What we have to do is win every game until the end –
that’s something we are in control of,” Alex told Chelsea’s
official matchday programme. “Sometimes, you need luck as well so,
if we do win all our matches, we then need Manchester United to
make mistakes. “And we have the game against Man United at Old
Trafford, so hopefully that will be one of their mistakes! “This
has been a difficult season, but we have to keep our focus on these
last few games and you never know what is going to happen. “It
could turn into a very good season and we could be champions
again.” Alex knows he has a fight on his hands to get back into the
team after Chelsea splashed out £25million on his Brazil
team-mate David Luiz during the January transfer window. He said:
“Sometimes, it’s difficult for the coach to have so many players to
choose from, but it’s also nice for him to have this problem. “He
always has the option to have a strong defence and, even though
it’s difficult for the players who miss out, we all understand the
situation. Everyone wants to play every game, but it’s no problem.
“I like this club and I’m very happy to be at Chelsea. “I feel like
one of the experienced players now. “Soon, I will have been here
for four years and I’m 28, so there is still more to come. “I want
to stay here for as long as my contract has to run. Then I can
complete the 200 appearances… maybe 300 or even 400. But 500? I
think that’s going to be difficult.”