Luiz doubtful for Blues
Brazilian still nursing knock, but Mikel is closing on full fitness
Last Updated: March 5, 2011 9:18pm
Luiz: Hamstring strain
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that David Luiz faces a race against time to face Blackpool on Monday.
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The Brazilian centre-half suffered a hamstring strain in the Blues' 2-1 victory over Manchester United last time out and is still nursing the knock.
He is now a major doubt for a trip to Bloomfield Road, with Ancelotti admitting that he is likely to be without his big-money January recruit.
The Italian is, however, hopeful on John Obi Mikel, who damaged his knee during the warm-up ahead of Tuesday's crunch clash with United.
"Until now, he's [Luiz] not been able to train," said Ancelotti.
"He [Mikel[ had a scan, but everything was okay. I hope, also, that he can train."
Long-term injury victims Yossi Benayoun and Alex are also closing on full fitness, with both expected to be back by the end of March.
On the duo, Ancelotti said: "Benayoun is starting to train outside on the grass, alone, in individual sessions.
"Alex will come back next week and, after that, I think we will check him and take a decision on him then.
"He's very close to recovery."
Chelsea will be hoping to consolidate their top-four standing against Blackpool, but Ancelotti admits they cannot afford to take anything for granted against the Premier League's surprise package.
He said: "It's an important game, a difficult game because Blackpool have had fantastic performances at home.
"They beat Tottenham in their last home game, and were 2-0 up against United.
"It's a team who like to play football with intensity and a good pace, attacking football.
"It will not be an easy game, but our moment's good now. We want to maintain continuity in the results."