Fernando Torres will be out of action “for weeks” with injury – blocking Demba Ba’s move away from Chelsea.
Torres picked up a knee injury when he replaced hat trick hero Samuel Eto’o in Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Manchester United.
Boss Jose Mourinho confirmed the problem with the Spaniard – who he left out of the starting line up – and insisted it means Ba will be given a rare run in the side.
Ba has been looking to leave Stamford Bridge after struggling to make the starting line up for Chelsea since his £7million move from Newcastle in last year’s January transfer window. A host of Premier League clubs were hoping to pounce for the Senegal international – including his old club Newcastle.
But Mourinho will now block any moves for him as he will give him a chance to shine alongside Eto’.
Mourinho said: “”We have lost Fernando for a few weeks with something in his lateral ligament in his knee and that is why we have Demba in the squad.
“We decided not to open the door to him for him to leave because he is a good player and we need him. The next few weeks is Demba and Samuel’s and I hope they do well for us.”
Mourinho hopes Ba will take his chance in the coming weeks after making 14 appearances for the Blues.
The Special One added: “It’s time for Demba. It’s a pity because Nando is in a good moment, but it’s time for Demba.
“Demba had a fantastic week and it it was very difficult for me to leave him out of selection because he worked very, very well. Next matches is for Demba or Samuel. Let’s go.”
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