Bosingwa close to Chelsea return
Chelsea right-back Jose Bosingwa is ready to resume first-team football after a year sidelined with knee problems.
The Portuguese international, 28, has not played since damaging knee ligaments against Aston Villa in October last year but could be ready to claim a place in the squad for Chelsea's trip to Villa Park next weekend.
Bosingwa is back in training again and could be joined soon by England midfielder Frank Lampard and Côte d'Ivoire striker Salomon Kalou. Lampard is working hard to get back to fitness following a groin injury, while Kalou is understood to have recovered from a thigh problem.
Blues midfielder Michael Essien has urged fans to be patient after his team recovered from their two recent defeats in some style. Chelsea were beaten in the Carling Cup by Newcastle United and then Manchester City repeated the feat in the league.
But they returned to form with a UEFA Champions League win over Marseille and a 2-0 home success over rivals Arsenal. "The season has started well and although we suffered two losses on the bounce, I believe the team is capable of bouncing back and we showed that against Marseille and Arsenal," said Essien.
"All I will ask is for the fans to be patient with us when the going gets tough. The season is long and there will be ups and downs but as long as the fans are there with us during the downs as well as the ups, I have no doubt we will be fine.
"We were delighted with how the Arsenal game went. We had to do our fair share of defending but I think we defended well and my only regret is I didn't add to my three goals this season when I had a good chance at the end. One thing I will say though is that goals are sweet to score and I want more of it. I will keep trying and no doubt I will score more goals this season."
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Petr Cech was today crowned Czech Republic player of the year for the fifth time.