Cole injury blow for Chelsea
Chelsea defender Ashley Cole could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines after picking up a calf injury, but skipper John Terry is in line to return for Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Birmingham.
Left-back Cole hobbled off late in the second half of Chelsea's disappointing 2-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday, and under-fire manager Andre Villas-Boas admits the England international could be missing for some time.
"It doesn't look good," he said.
There was better news for Chelsea, after skipper Terry rejoined training following a knee problem, with the 31-year-old in contention to make his first appearance since being stripped of the England captaincy for a second time.
Chelsea said on their website: "John Terry took part in today's training session for the first 30 minutes and then continued work in the gym. He'll be looking to increase his workload on a daily basis."
Terry has not featured for Chelsea since the 1-0 FA Cup fourth round win at QPR on January 28, having originally injured his knee in the third round against Portsmouth on January 8.
Chelsea's defence looked decidedly shaky at Goodison park last weekend and the return of captain Terry would provide a huge boost for the Blues, who are 17 points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City.