Chelsea delay decision on Drogba op

Chelsea look set to delay a decision on whether Didier Drogba undergoes surgery on his injured knee until after their Premier League clash with Arsenal on 16 December.

Drogba will miss Saturday's clash with Sunderland and can also be rested for Tuesday's UEFA Champions League tilt with Valencia, but Chelsea are keen to have him available for the trip to the Emirates Stadium the following Sunday.

The player himself is reportedly keen to have an operation as soon as possible to ensure he is fit to captain the Ivory Coast in the CAF African Nations Cup next month.

Blues boss Avram Grant however insisted that it was not yet clear that surgery would definitely be required. "We are keeping an eye on the situation but we don't know yet," the coach said Friday.

"We will know better in the next few days. We are doing everything with Didier. In the last one or two months he has had a problem but he always pushed to play and is pushing to play even now."

Grant denied Chelsea were deliberately delaying an operation until after the key Christmas period, which would effectively rule Drogba out of the African Nations, and admitted that he was considering bringing in another striker in the January transfer window.

"We will not find a replacement for Didier because Didier is the best striker in the world now. But we have other strikers in the squad. We have three strikers and if we find someone (to buy) we will do it."