Chelsea duo’s recovery on track

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Ray Wilkins is confident that Chelsea duo Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel will have recovered from injuries in time for the start of the new season in mid-August.

The Blues' assistant coach Ray Wilkins is pleased with the way the duo's rehabilitation work is going after they were both forced to miss the World Cup finals in South Africa.

Ghana star Essien and Nigerian Mikel missed the tournament because of knee injuries, but an upbeat Wilkins said:"There should be no problem whatsoever.

"Mikel is slightly in advance of Michael Essien but they're both working very well indeed. They've been working double sessions for the last week and we'll get them really firing before the season starts.

"Normally, after a World Cup, you find with those players who come back from the tournament, they hit a wall at about December time.

"It's very important we manage them in the correct manner and we get them to a level where they won't be as fit as we want them to be but, as they creep into the new year, their fitness will come back.

"We also have to get the players we've got here training now into the right fitness condition so that they're prepared to play, because we might not be able to use the guys coming back from the World Cup for the first couple of games. So these young men have to be primed and ready to perform."

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