x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Chelsea wait for Torres injury update

Spanish striker hurt his kneww in Champions League win over Steaua Bucharest.

Fernando Torres is unlikely to feature in Chelsea's Premier League game against Norwich City. Vadim Ghirda / AP Photo
Fernando Torres is unlikely to feature in Chelsea's Premier League game against Norwich City. Vadim Ghirda / AP Photo

Chelsea face another anxious wait regarding Fernando Torres after the striker suffered a knee injury in Tuesday night’s 4-0 Champions League Group E win at Steaua Bucharest.

Just a few hours after learning Torres would face no further Football Association disciplinary action following his altercation with Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen, the striker hobbled off at the National Arena.

Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, confirmed Torres will not be available to link up with Spain following Sunday’s match at Norwich, for which he is suspended following his dismissal at White Hart Lane, with a scan required to determine the full extent of the problem.

“It’s something in his knee, his ligament, and we have to wait for the scan,” Mourinho said.

“The doctor is very confident it’s not a big injury, like we had with Marco van Ginkel [who is out for six months].

“He knows that he doesn’t play against Norwich. He knows that he cannot go to the national team.

“He knows he has 15 days until the next match he can play, which is against Cardiff.

“Let’s see the scan. If the injury is an injury for 15 days, I think he’ll be fine. That’s okay.

“The problem is if it’s more time and it’s a pity for the guy, because he’s in a very good moment.”

Mourinho defended the FA’s decision not to retrospectively punish Torres and hand the Spaniard an additional suspension.

“It was quite a real pressure to make him have a two or three-match ban, but at the same time I was more than confident,” added Mourinho, who again issued a thinly-veiled criticism of Vertonghen.

“The FA defends the interest and the culture of English football. It’s not to protect cheats and people that simulate.

“To protect English football is to protect people who play the game with emotion.”

Chelsea recovered from the loss of Torres to make amends for the round one loss to Basle and last season’s Europa League defeat at the home of the Romanian champions with a comprehensive triumph.

Ramires scored either side of a Daniel Georgievski own goal before Frank Lampard added a late fourth for the 2012 European Cup winners and 2013 Europa League champions.

Mourinho is eager to avoid the second-tier European competition and is confident ahead of successive matches with group leaders Schalke.

“We have to do everything we can to keep Chelsea playing in the Champions League, because the Champions League is our competition,” he added.

“At this moment I don’t want to think about being first, I want to think about qualifying. After that we’ll see, but I think everything is open.”

Mourinho praised the contributions of Andre Schurrle and Juan Mata, who has been a peripheral figure so far this term due to Mourinho’s desire for him to track back more.

“He played very good with the ball, as he always does,” Mourinho added.

“And he played very good without the ball, as he never did.”

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey condemned the FA’s reasoning over the incident involving Torres and Vertonghen.

Halsey said in The Sun: “There is simply no consistency in all this and failing to act in this instance has reduced the FA to a laughing stock.

“If that incident had happened in any other league in Europe, there is no way Torres would have escaped a violent conduct charge.”

Halsey added: “Jose Mourinho must be laughing his head off on the quiet. He must have expected to be without Torres for four matches. He won’t believe his luck.”

sports@thenational.ae