Chelsea hope goalkeeper Petr Cech can avoid surgery after suffering a torn calf against Schalke on Tuesday.

The Independent says the way in which the manager, Avram Grant, explained to the club director - and Roman Abramovich's fixer - Eugene Tenenbaum in the departures' lounge suggested that the injury was severe. The Israeli made violent tearing signals with his hands as he spoke to Tenenbaum.

Still, after a scan yesterday Chelsea were sounding more optimistic, describing Cech's injury as a "small tear". If it is worse than that - and Cech is out for a month - then he would miss league games against Derby County and West Ham United and the Champions League tie away to Rosenborg as well as the Everton game.