Mikel feared for sight

Midfielder glad to be back at Chelsea

Mikel: Glad to be back

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John Obi Mikel admits he had serious concerns over his health after being poked in the eye during Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations elimination to Ghana.

The powerful 20-year-old clashed with Ghana's Anthony Annan, in an incident that left him fearing for his eyesight.

Mikel appeared for Chelsea as a second half substitute against Liverpool at the weekend and he concedes it was a relief to return.

Real concern

"I couldn't see when I went back on the pitch and I had to go off," admitted Mikel.

"When the ball was coming, I couldn't see it properly. I didn't swap shirts with Michael Essien after the game because of the eye injury.

"It was hurting too much to worry about swapping shirts. It's a bit better but it is still a bit painful. At the time it really hurt.

"I thought I'd lost my eyesight when I was lying on the floor but thankfully everything is fine."

Chelsea's ranks will be further bolstered in the next few days by the return of Essien, Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, who like Mikel have been on Africa Cup of Nations duty.

Chelsea boss Avram Grant has spoken of his relief that he will soon have a full squad to choose from and now his sentiments have been echoed by his captain John Terry.

Captain's call

He said: "We could have a full squad again soon. A big credit goes to all the players who have kept us in touching distance of the two clubs above us over the last couple of months.

"They've been brilliant and as a result everyone coming back is going to have to fight for their places.

"They're going to be a big boost to the team. It is February and yet again we are still in contention for all four trophies. With the injuries and upheavals we've had this season it's a magnificent effort from all the boys.

"Manchester United and Arsenal have got to play at the Bridge and we cannot forget our record at home."