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Page last updated at 20:16 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech ruled out for a month

Petr Cech
Cech joined Chelsea from Rennes for 7m in 2004

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech will be out for up to a month with a calf injury, the club have confirmed.

The 27-year-old fell in agony after taking a cross unchallenged during the Blues' 2-1 Champions League defeat at Inter Milan on Wednesday.

A scan has revealed Cech tore a calf muscle, and a Chelsea spokesman said the Czech international is expected to be out "for three to four weeks".

Portuguese Henrique Hilario is expected to deputise in goal for the Blues.

Cech will definitely miss his side's Premier League games at home to Manchester City on Saturday and away to West Ham on 13 March, the FA Cup quarter-final visit of Stoke on 7 March and the second leg of their European tie against Inter at Stamford Bridge nine days later.

It seems likely, too, that manager Carlo Ancelotti will be without his first-choice keeper for the Premier League games at Blackburn (21 March) and Portsmouth (24 March).


And Cech must also be considered a doubt for the league matches at home to Aston Villa on 27 March and the trip to title rivals Manchester United on 3 April.

Following the defeat at the San Siro, Blues midfielder Frank Lampard was in little doubt that Cech's absence would be felt: "It's a huge blow. He's been in outstanding form and has always been up there with the best in the world."

Cech, who will also miss his country's friendly international in Scotland next Wednesday, was replaced by 34-year-old Hilario on 61 minutes after suffering the bizarre injury.

Chelsea were already trailing 2-1 at that stage, having gone 1-0 down after only three minutes when Diego Milito cut inside John Terry on the left and beat Cech with a low shot to the keeper's right.

Salomon Kalou equalised in the 51st minute before Esteban Cambiasso put Inter back in front four minutes later with a fierce, left-foot strike.

Hilario was largely untroubled when he came on, although his kicking gave some cause for concern.

The former Porto player is expected to continue in goal, however, the Blues could also call on former England Under-20 keeper Ross Turnbull.

The 25-year-old joined the club last summer on a free transfer from Middlesbrough.

Cech, a £7m capture from Rennes in 2004, is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

His career almost ended in October 2006 when he required surgery for a skull fracture after a collision with Reading's Stephen Hunt.

Cech was out for three months and has since worn a protective headguard during games.

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see also
Inter Milan 2-1 Chelsea
24 Feb 10 |  Europe
Wednesday's football photos
24 Feb 10 |  Football
Wednesday football as it happened
24 Feb 10 |  Football
Ancelotti expects Cech to improve
01 Jan 10 |  Chelsea
Cech could miss festive programme
24 Dec 07 |  Chelsea
Cech sidelined with a torn calf
07 Nov 07 |  Chelsea
Keeper Cech has surgery on skull
15 Oct 06 |  Chelsea
Reading 0-1 Chelsea
14 Oct 06 |  Premier League

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