Posted by: mdegeorge | June 5, 2010

The Chelsea World Cup curse?

Ok, I’m not big on curses, but I am big on trends, and one has certainly emerged from the injury reports coming out of the World Cup camps this week, with four of Chelsea’s stars have picked up one injury or another, derailing their Finals’ hopes.

Michael Ballack was the first to bite the dust care of Kevin Prince Boateng’s tackle in the FA Cup Final at Wembley. The ankle injury Ballack picked up requires over two months of rehab and immediately ended his dreams of captaining Germany in his third Finals’ appearance.

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Then, Ghana announced to moderate surprise that star midfielder Michael Essien would miss the tournament after failing to recover from a knee injury he sustained on international duty at the African Cup of Nations in January. The injury, along with his recuperation from a torn hamstring earlier in the season, prevented him from playing for the English Double winners since early December.

Essien’s midfield mate in West London John Obi Mikel was also ruled out of the tournament today with a knee injury. The Nigerian last played for Chelsea on April 17 when he limped off with the injury he still hasn’t recovered from. He was a surprising inclusion in Nigeria’s final 23-man roster after being deemed fit enough to train by team doctors, but apparently isn’t fit enough to make the trip to South Africa.

And the biggest name of the bunch, Didier Drogba, reportedly informed teammate Kolo Toure that he would also miss the Finals due to the broken arm he picked up in Friday’s friendly against Japan. He has since undergone surgery and the Ivory Coast Football Federation is optimistic of his return, but it doesn’t sound like the star striker is.

It makes you wonder just how high the costs were for their domestic Double, especially with a fairly thin squad that had to cope with a number of long-term injuries at various junctures of the season. And just how conservatively Paulo Ferreira will be in training for the next week. Or maybe it’s just bad mojo brought on John Terry, (though Rio Ferdinand’s injury seems to be paying off for the former England skipper).

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