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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2006, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Chelsea given Cole injury boost
Joe Cole
Cole had only been on the pitch for five minutes when he was injured
Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole could be back in action before the end of the month despite injuring his right knee in a pre-season friendly in America.

It had been feared the 24-year-old had damaged ligaments and could be out for up to six weeks, but coach Steve Clarke says he is recovering quickly.

"Joe has got the brace off his leg. He is moving around on his own," he said.

"He still feels a little pain which is normal but we are hopeful he will progress very, very quickly."

Cole suffered the injury in the early stages of Chelsea's friendly defeat by MLS All-Stars in Chicago and will miss the start of the Premiership campaign and England's friendly against Greece on 16 August.

Jose Mourinho's side have their second run-out in 24 hours when they take on Celtic at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening, having beaten Feyenoord 1-0 in Holland on Tuesday.

Mourinho will rotate the same 17-man squad, giving new signings Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack their first appearances in front of the Stamford Bridge crowd.

The champions then face Liverpool in Sunday's Community Shield in Cardiff, and start the defence of their Premiership title against Manchester City on 20 August.



SEE ALSO
Crespo clinches switch to Inter
07 Aug 06 |  Chelsea
Cole omitted from Arsenal squad
07 Aug 06 |  Arsenal


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