Chelsea get Mikel injury boost

Chelsea enjoyed a fitness boost today ahead of their Premier League game at Everton when John Obi Mikel returned to full training after seven weeks on the sidelines.

Football News: John Obi Mikel

The Nigeria international has been out since suffering a hamstring injury in December's 1-1 draw at Tottenham, but was back with the rest of the squad ahead of Saturday's trip to Goodison Park.

Fellow midfielder Frank Lampard is on course to make his return this weekend after missing the last three matches with a calf problem.

That leaves captain John Terry and midfielder Ramires (both knee) as Chelsea's only injured players, with manager Andre Villas-Boas hoping both will be available for the following weekend's FA Cup clash with Birmingham.

That game is immediately followed by the Champions League last-16, first leg at Napoli and Villas-Boas knows a good result at Everton could be crucial for Chelsea's hopes in the two cup competitions.

The Blues boss acknowledged it was important to "get the team back to its strong belief and go on to try to make an impact on those trophies" after his side squandered a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 with Manchester United on Sunday.

He added: "We set out with a team that we believe in for this season and we will continue to pursue the trophies that we have in our hands and try to win them.

"One of them is the FA Cup and the other is the Champions League. We are still in with a chance and we will continue to pursue those objectives so we are fully focused on them."

The Birmingham game could also see the return of Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou from African Nations Cup duty.

The Ivory Coast have reached the semi-finals of the competition, which are being played tomorrow, meaning they will be involved in either Sunday's final or Saturday's third-placed play-off.

It also means Fernando Torres is almost certain to keep his place against Everton, but with Drogba in fine goalscoring form out in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, it could be the goal-shy Spaniard's last start for a while if his scoreless run extends to 19 games this weekend.

Former Chelsea boss Ruud Gullit believes Villas-Boas would be justified in dropping Torres, saying: "Drogba, when he plays, he's still playing really, really well.

"It's a difficult situation also for the rest of the players because I think that they all like Torres, they all want him to score.

"But if he doesn't, what does it do to the result? What does it do to the morale of the rest of the players?"

Part of the problem for Torres is that he is not getting many chances, either by his own making or laid on by others.

It is no secret Chelsea will look to add creativity to their squad this summer and one man who would be keen to join them is Milos Krasic, according to the Juventus winger's agent.

The 27-year-old's representative Valado Borozan told www.calciomercatio.it: "Milos is appreciated everywhere, so we'll see which side will come forward between now and June.

"He is under contract and so far there has not been a need to start talking to other clubs. Chelsea? They are interested in the player and they are one of the clubs he likes."

The Blues could also resurrect their interest in Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian star Willian.

Shakhtar claimed they rejected a £16.7million bid in the January transfer window for the 23-year-old.

Santos also tried to sign Willian, on loan, and their president, Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro, told Jornal da Manha: "We gave up because of a proposal that they [Shakhtar] received from Chelsea.

"It was an offer of tens of millions of euros. It seems that he will go there in the middle of the year."

One player who definitely is joining Chelsea is 15-year-old defender Andreas Christensen.

The Denmark Under-17 international will move from Brondby this summer after agreeing a deal on Sunday.

Christensen, who was also linked with Arsenal, Manchester City and Bayern Munich, told Ekstra Bladet: "I have chosen Chelsea because they play the kind of football I like.

"At the same time, they have the best plan for my future in football."

But he will not be joined by Brazil superstar Neymar, with Villas-Boas reportedly telling Spanish media before Monday night's Laureus World Sports Awards: "I think that the Neymar matter is closed and locked in a safe.

"He has decided his future and no one knows where he will go. Unfortunately, he will not come to us."



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