Essien boost for Blues
Michael Essien could be available for Chelsea's must-win Barclays Premier League game against Tottenham after scans showed he suffered only a minor tendon problem in Saturday's victory over West Ham.
Essien had to be helped from the field shortly before the hour mark of the Blues' 3-0 derby win at Stamford Bridge after pulling up with what appeared to be a left knee injury. Scans on Tuesday showed the problem was with a tendon but the 28-year-old escaped any serious damage and will be monitored ahead of Saturday evening's Spurs match.
Chelsea said in a statement on their official website, www.chelseafc.com: "Michael had a minor problem with a tendon above his knee during the West Ham game and came off as a precaution. Scans show no significant issues in that area. We will look at him over the course of this week with regards to availability for the weekend."
The loss of Essien for the final four games of the season would have been a blow to Chelsea's slim hopes of retaining the Premier League title.
The midfielder had begun to rediscover his form after Ancelotti restored the Blues' three-man midfield with John Obi Mikel in the anchor role, allowing Essien to get further forward.
Should the Ghanaian fail to recover in time for this weekend, his place could be taken by Ramires, who had been expected to return after two and a half weeks out with a hamstring injury.
Fellow Brazilian Alex was also due to be be available on Saturday having also tweaked a hamstring in Chelsea's Champions League defeat at Manchester United.
That was the defender's first start for four and a half months following knee surgery and he is desperate to play a part in helping the champions try to complete the greatest comeback in Premier League title history.
"What we have to do is win every game until the end - that's something we are in control of," Alex told Chelsea's official matchday programme. "Sometimes, you need luck as well so, if we do win all our matches, we then need Manchester United to make mistakes.
"And we have the game against Man United at Old Trafford, so hopefully that will be one of their mistakes!"