Cole injury as Chelsea lose

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Last Modified: 6 Aug 2006
Source: ITN

Chelsea have had a disappointing start to their pre-season with defeat in America and the loss of Joe Cole who suffered a knee injury.

Joes Mourinho's team lost 1-0 to the Major League Soccer All-Stars at Toyota Park, near Chicago, but the manager put the poor showing down to the better conditioning of the MLS team.

Mourinho said: "They were faster, sharper and able to play at a high level going against a team that was tired, slow and it was difficult for our players to go 45 minutes. It was not a surprise."

England international Cole limped off with a knee injury five minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute. He left the stadium on crutches and will undergo tests when the squad returns to London.

"For me, Cole is the real problem of the day. I'm not a doctor, it's not my job. But everybody is worried," added Mourinho.

New signings Michael Ballack and Andriy Shevchenko both started the game. Shevchenko, still recovering from a knee injury, looked rusty while Ballack began his new midfield partnership with Frank Lampard.

Ballack put striker Didier Drogba through on goal in the 28th minute, but the Ivorian's effort was ruled out for offside.

Youngsters Salomon Kalou and Jon Obi Mikel both appeared for the first time in a Chelsea shirt in the second half, two of Mourinho's six substitutions at the break.

Only Lampard, John Terry, Michael Essien and Geremi played the full game.

Chelsea visit Dutch club Feyenoord on Tuesday, host Celtic on Wednesday and face Liverpool in the Community Shield on Sunday.