Ballack's out, but JT is back
The German captain injured himself in midweek on international duty and Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari confirmed his inspirational midfielder is crocked and out of tomorrow's match at Middlesbrough.
He said: "Ballack is out for maybe two or three weeks. I am not angry, I am happy because what happened is a test for me that I am a good coach.
"I need to change and improve, play other players, motivate some players, putting players in who have not played, it is good for me and my work. It is not difficult for me.
"When the players are in their national team they need to play and give their life for the national team. Out of the national team, give their life for the club. They are there to make the best for their national team. If you are injured you are injured. I don't see any time in my life a coach put an injured player on the pitch."
Also out are Ashley and Joe Cole, while Petr Cech is doubtful alongside Jose Bosingwa - Didier Drogba is also missing.
One bit of good news John Terry is fit and plays.
Scolari said: "John has recovered very well, and is in good condition."
Another ray of hope is that Deco is close to recovery and travels to the North-East and could figure at some point in the match.