Cole to miss Reds clash, Terry returns
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has confirmed Ashley Cole will miss his side's Premier League clash with Liverpool this weekend.
But in better news for the Italian, captain John Terry returns from suspension.
Full-back Cole has been in impressive form this season but injured his hamstring at Swansea last Saturday and did not feature in Wednesday's Champions League win over Shakhtar.
"Sunday's probably too early for him but hopefully he'll be back for the next game against West Brom," Di Matteo said.
The Blues are second in the Premier League and just a point behind leaders Manchester United, but Cole's absence is an untimely blow as they seek to regain top spot with a victory over Brendan Rodgers' men.
Ryan Bertrand, viewed by many at Stamford Bridge as Cole's long-term successor, deputised during the Shakhtar clash and will likely fill in on the left again against Liverpool.
Cole has made 10 appearances for the Blues this season, scoring once and getting two assists – although he faced a fine from the FA after a controversial Twitter outburst in October.
Di Matteo will welcome back Terry for the Liverpool clash, with the former England international completing his four-match suspension for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.
"He'll be available for Sunday, for sure, and he'll be in a good position to be involved," Di Matteo said of Terry, adding that he was eager to put his captain's off-field troubles behind him: "We can focus on the football [now] and try to achieve things on the pitch."
Di Matteo was also pleased with Chelsea's announcement of a 1.4-million-pound profit for the last financial year – the first time the club has turned a profit in the Roman Abramovich era.
Having reported losses of over 60 million pounds last year, the Blues are now in line to comply with UEFA's Financial Fair Play model.
"For the first time, we've been able to achieve a profit," he said.
"Also thanks to the success on the field but off-field as well with new sponsor deals and also in the transfer market.
"So going forward I think that puts Chelsea Football Club in a strong position to remain competitive at domestic level but also international level."