Chelsea’s new £18m signing Yuri Zhirkov is yet to make his debut for the Blues, but has still been called up to Guus Hiddinck’s Russia squad for the World Cup Qualifiers.
He aggravated a knee injury in pre-season against AC Milan, and despite continually being told he will make his debut soon, the injury refuses to heal properly.
“In some ways it would be better if there had been a tear and I knew that I’d be out for a month, for example,” said Zhirkov.
“Even the doctors cannot say anything definite. It’s incredibly difficult. I just want to wake up and know that the pain has completely gone.
“The pain has become far more tolerable. Two weeks ago it hurt to even stand on it and I couldn’t train at all.
“It still aches a little. I trained on Saturday before coming to the national team but I collided with another player and it was quite painful.
“But on my first day back here I crawled on my knees, playing with my son for more than an hour, and I forgot about it.”
So that doesn’t sound very promising for the Chelsea new-boy. Let’s hope that he doesn’t play for Russia and make it worse!