Defender Alex is to miss the start of the Barclays Premier League season after Chelsea confirmed he is to be sidelined for a month with a thigh injury.

The 28-year-old will sit out Friday's friendly trip to Ajax because of the knock he picked up in training, as will new signing Yossi Benayoun, who has a groin problem.

"There are no more coming that didn't play against Crystal Palace, so Yossi Benayoun is out and Alex has a problem in his thigh but with the other players it is the same squad," coach Carlo Ancelotti, whose side beat Palace 1-0 at the weekend, told www.chelseafc.com.

It is the second such blow in successive days for Chelsea, who on Thursday saw goalkeeper Petr Cech ruled out for a month with a torn calf.

Friday's game will therefore give back-up keepers Hilario and Ross Turnbull the chance to stake a claim to begin the season in the first team.

"I think that against Ajax we will play 45 minutes each for Turnbull and Hilario, and I think Turnbull will start the game," Ancelotti said.

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Topics:
Hilario
Petr Cech
Yossi Benayoun
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Alex
Ross Turnbull
Crystal Palace