Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has confirmed Ashley Cole will miss his side’s Premier League clash with Liverpool this weekend.
The full back has been in impressive form this season but injured his hamstring at Swansea last Saturday and did not feature in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Blues are second in the Premier League and just a point behind leaders Manchester United, but Cole's absence is an untimely blow as they seek to regain top spot with a victory over Brendan Rodgers' men. Ryan Bertrand, viewed by many at Stamford Bridge as Cole's long-term successor, deputized during the Shakhtar clash and will likely fill in on the left again against Liverpool.
Di Matteo has stated his hope that the 31-year-old Cole will be available for selection for next weekend’s game against West Brom, who is now managed by former Chelsea assistant Steve Clarke. Cole has made 10 appearances for the Blues this season, scoring once and getting two assists – although he faced a fine from the FA after a controversial Twitter outburst in October.
The defender's contract expires in the summer, and, with no new deal seemingly forthcoming after a breakdown in talks, could be set to move on at the end of the current campaign.