Chelsea facing injury crisis at left-back ahead of Rubin match

Chelsea may have to play Rubin Kazan in the second-leg of their Europa League quarter-final without their two first team left-backs, the Guardian has reported, as Ryan Bertrand has come down with a virus and Ashley Cole will be missing for another two weeks due to a hamstring injury.

Bertrand was forced to miss training on Tuesday and stay away from the club’s Cobham training facility, but could still travel with the squad to Moscow on Wednesday. The England international will be watched closely however, and if he does not feature, interim manager Rafael Benitez could be forced to turn to 18-year-old Nathan Ake as cover. Paulo Ferreira, naturally a right-back, is another alternative.

Cole was injured in the FA Cup quarter-final replay against Manchester United on Easter Monday and is making steady progress in his recovery, the newspaper adds. Cole was able to use an exercise bike earlier this week but still faces around a fortnight on the sidelines. Gary Cahill meanwhile has undergone surgery on a knee problem and is expected back on a similar timescale to Cole.

Benitez is also without striker Demba Ba, who is cup-tied, having played in the same competition for former club Newcastle United in the earlier rounds.

Chelsea lead Rubin 3-1 from the first-leg, thanks to a Fernando Torres brace and another goal from Victor Moses, with the Russian’s side’s away goal coming courtesy of a first-half Natcho penalty.

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