Blues dismiss Cole setback reports

Cole has returned from three weeks in France following the

operation, which is understood to have been a complete success. He

fractured his left ankle against Everton in early February, and

following surgery has undergone intensive rehabilitation. But

speculation that Cole will not play again this season and could

miss the World Cup have been quashed by Chelsea. It was suggested

that even the most optimistic reports from the Stamford Bridge

medical team put his chances of making the England squad as “touch

and go”. But describing such a claim as “nonsense”, a Chelsea

spokesman said: “The club’s medical staff are delighted with

Ashley’s operation and the treatment he’s received so far.

“Contrary to reports, he’s recovering extremely well from his

injury and he’s bang on schedule.” Cole is set to return prior to

the end of the season and stake a claim for a place in Fabio

Capello’s squad. The defender remains the country’s first-choice

left-back following Wayne Bridge’s decision to rule himself out of

contention for England selection.