Alex adds to Chelsea’s injury list

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Chelsea's pre-season preparations have suffered another hitch after it was confirmed that Alex will miss the start of the Premier League season with a thigh injury.

The news that the 28-year-old faces a month on the sidelines follows hard on the heels of confirmation that goalkeeper Petr Cech will be out of action for a similar amount of time with a calf problem.

New signing Yossi Benayoun will also sit out Friday's friendly against Ajax with a groin problem.

"There are no more coming that didn't play against Crystal Palace, so Yossi Benayoun is out and Alex has a problem in his thigh but with the other players it is the same squad," coach Carlo Ancelotti told the Blues' official website.

"I think that against Ajax we will play 45 minutes each for (Ross) Turnbull and Hilario, and I think Turnbull will start the game.

"The Ajax game is a pre-season match so we don't have too many targets, just to improve our condition and put the players in better condition for the start of the season.

"'I think that we played with a good tempo in the first game and, if we can do the same it would be good. This week was a hard week in training and the players could be a little bit tired on Friday. Some will play longer, I don't want to make a lot of changes because we now need the players to be playing 90 minutes.

"For the young players, it is good to improve their confidence in our possibilities, to gain confidence of playing with the first-team players like Michael Essien and Mikel, it is a very good experience."

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