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Edited by Laylabelle, 06 February 2009 - 02:43 PM.
Injured Chelsea winger Yuri Zhirkov has dismissed speculation that he needs surgery on his right knee.
The Russian has missed the start of the Blues' Premier League campaign because of a knee injury aggravated on the club's pre-season tour of America.
Reports in his home country have suggested Zhirkov, who switched to the Blues in an £18million transfer from CSKA Moscow in the summer, needs surgery to cure the problem.
But the winger, who turned 26 on Thursday, hopes to resume training in the next few days, although he is unlikely to be in contention for a return to competitive action until Chelsea's clash with Burnley on 29th August.
He said: "I don't know who spread these rumours, but they don't correspond to reality.
"My condition has improved and the doctors say that in two or three days I will be able to return to training, although not fully. I'll work on an individual programme.
"I was feeling pain and noticeably limping when running, but now that's behind me. I just need to tone up the leg."
Joe Cole will return to full-scale training at Chelsea next week.
Cole, 27, has not played since rupturing cruciate ligaments in an FA Cup tie at Southend in January. He suffered a setback in pre-season and needed another small operation but is now ready to fight for a place in Carlo Ancelotti's team.
Cole's team-mate Paulo Ferreira, who injured cruciate ligaments in training in February, also expects to return to training next week.
A Deco..........Groin Strain........9th Jan 10
N Anelka........Hamstring Injury....9th Jan 10
M Essien........Hamstring Injury....9th Jan 10
J Bosingwa......Knee Injury.........30th Jan 10
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