Chelsea winger Cole set for rapid recovery

August 9, 2006

Chelsea coach Steve Clarke has confirmed that Joe Cole looks set for a rapid recovery from his knee injury.

Cole limped out of Saturday's pre-season friendly against the MLS All-Star in Chicago after twisting his right knee.

Boss Jose Mourinho feared the worst but there is thought to be no serious ligament damage and assistant manager Clarke says the England midfielder is already making good progress.

Clarke said: 'Joe is okay. He has got the brace off his leg. He is moving around on his own.

'He still feels a little pain which is normal but we are hopeful he will progress very, very quickly.'

Cole will miss the start of the season and England's friendly against Greece, next week, but could be back before the end of the month.

The Blues, who beat Feyenoord 1-0 in Rotterdam yesterday, play their second friendly in successive days today when they take on Celtic.

Mourinho used 17 players in Holland and will rotate the same squad to face the Scottish champions at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho has said he will start with Shaun Wright-Phillips and Didier Drogba - both second-half subs in Rotterdam - plus one other striker in a three-man attack.

Chelsea's big summer signings - Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack and Salomon Kalou - will appear before the home fans for the first time.

Captain John Terry said: 'I am looking forward to getting back in front of the home fans and against Celtic as well.

'They have proved a good side over recent years and have great support who follow them everywhere.'