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Chelsea could be without Didier Drogba until mid-February after a knee scan showed he requires surgery.

The Ivory Coast striker has damage to his left meniscus, and the Blues must now decide whether to operate immediately or try to nurse him through the busy Christmas schedule.

Manager Avram Grant is expected to make a decision - in consultation with club doctors and Drogba - in the next few days over the procedure, which will sideline him for at least a month.

Drogba's injury was sustained on international duty last month, and he has been playing through pain since, but there are fears his long-term fitness could be compromised by continuing to play.

Grant will already be without his key forward for several weeks in the New Year, with the 29-year-old due to compete in the African Cup of Nations, starting on January 20th.

Drogba's fellow Ivorian Salomon Kalou, Ghanaian Michael Essien and Nigerian John Obi Mikel will also be missing during the tournament, which runs until February 10th.

The ideal scenario for Chelsea would be to give him painkilling injections before operating next month, with the 29-year-old missing his international expedition.

However, the patriotic Drogba would not be receptive to that course of action, which could also land Chelsea in trouble with FIFA.

Chelsea play 10 matches before the start of the African Cup of Nations, including encounters with in-form Arsenal, Aston Villa and Blackburn.

The news will increase speculation that Roman Abramovich will open his chequebook for a new striker in January, particularly in light of Andriy Shevchenko's continued poor performance.

Nicolas Anelka and Spartak Moscow's Brazilian Vagner Love are believed to be in the frame along with Barcelona's mercurial Ronaldinho.
 
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i read this from soccernet ealier too, bad luck for drogba, tho good for us :)
 

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From Chelsea's website...

With Didier Drogba's chronic knee injury the subject of much media speculation, Avram Grant has spoken about the strikers fitness.

Confirming there is a possibility Drogba may require surgery on a problem that has ruled him out on more than one occasion this season, Grant said:

"We are keeping an eye on the situation and will know better in the next few days. We are doing everything, talking with the player and in the last one or two months we knew that he had a problem sometimes but he always pushed to play. He pushes to play even now but we must take care of the health of the player. We will see what is good for him. At the moment we will keep an eye on the situation and then we will know what will happen."

Grant stated that Drogba is 90% certain to miss tomorrow's game but did not rule out the possibility he could play in the lead up to the Christmas period.

"It depends on how he will feel." the manager said. "If he feels good, he will play. He always pushes to play but again, it depends if he can or not."


Sounds like the media are trying to predict what will happen rather than knowing.

The article doesn't even mention the ACON.
 
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