The Mail on Sunday says Cole was not on the team bus that turned up for the cup tie at the JJB Stadium, despite have been used as a substitute in Chelsea's previous game at Everton in the Carling Cup on Wednesday. There have been no reports the 27-year-old has been injured.
Cole's marriage to Girls Aloud singer Cheryl was put under the spotlight this week with allegations that he had a one-night stand with a hairdresser from south London. Further stories about his private life could yet follow.
Asked if the player was injured, he repeated: "He was unavailable."