Chelsea management unimpressed as Zhirkov called up by Russia

Chelsea management will be unimpressed after Yuri Zhirkov was called up to the Russia squad for their World Cup playoff against Slovenia.

Chelsea management will be unimpressed after Yuri Zhirkov was called up to the Russia squad for their World Cup playoff against Slovenia.

Zhirkov is battling with a knee injury that has restricted him to less than 90 minutes of action for Chelsea.

The 26-year-old has started just one match - against QPR in the Carling Cup - since making an £18million summer switch from CSKA Moscow.

The winger, who fills a problem left back position for Russia, has been struggling with a compound knee injury since aggravating the long-standing problem against AC Milan on the Blues' pre-season tour of America.

He is not part of the Chelsea squad travelling to Madrid for the Champions League match against Atletico on Tuesday, but has been able to train.

Zhirkov suffered a further setback when playing for Russia against Germany last month and was disturbed by swelling in his knee after playing just 20 minutes as a sub against Atletico at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago.

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