Drogba ready for return


Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has returned to training ahead of the visit of Liverpool after undergoing elbow surgery.

The Ivorian, who has served a domestic ban following his red card against Queens Park Rangers is available for selection after having a metal plate removed from his elbow.

Drogba broke his arm last year prior to the World Cup finals, but played on with a cast as Ivory Coast crashed out of the group stage in South Africa.

Despite the form of Daniel Sturridge and signs of Fernando Torres returning to his former self, the return to Drogba will come as a boost to manager Andre Villas-Boas, with the Portuguese boss looking to improve on a run of one win in The Blues' last four.

The 33-year-old has an impressive goalscoring record against Liverpool, having scored eight goals against The Reds since his move to Chelsea in 2004, including the decisive goal in the Carling Cup Final during his first season at Stamford Bridge, and a double in the Champions League semi-final in 2008.

His return to the fold may be short-lived however, with Drogba already eyeing January's African Nations Cup.

The tournament means Drogba will miss a large chunk of the season, including the opening rounds of the FA Cup, and the forward is hoping his side have more luck than they did in 2006, when they were beaten in the final by hosts Egypt on penalties.

“We could have won it because our squad was really good but it is not only about the quality of the squad, and when you play teams like Egypt they had a lot of understanding because they had played together for nine years," he said.

“When we lost to Egypt it was in Egypt and we lost on penalties. We had a great tournament but I hope this season is going to be better than the last African Cup when we went out in the quarter-finals.”

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