LONDON // John Terry will undergo a medical examination tomorrow to assess the extent of the damage he sustained to his ribs yesterday. The England international, who missed his country's recent games against Bulgaria and Switzerland with a hamstring injury, was replaced by Alex after 82 minutes of the game against West Ham United at Upton Park after a first-half clash with Carlton Cole, the former Chelsea striker.
Terry is likely to be rested for the Champions League opener at MSK Zilina on Wednesday. "John will have it checked out on Monday but I don't think it is too bad," said Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea manager. "I don't think the rib is broken because he took a knock in the first half and played on for 60 minutes. He had pain at the end of the game and I took him out. But I will look to rest one or two players this week."
Ancelotti, meanwhile, has warned his players against allowing complacency to undermine their Premier League title aspirations. Chelsea have began the defence of their title in impressive fashion, with 17 goals and four victories. They have a two-point lead at the top of the table ahead of Arsenal and are four clear of Manchester United. An emphatic, 3-1 victory over their London rivals - secured by two goals from Michael Essien which book-ended a strike from Salomon Kalou - sent out another ominous warning to their rivals. The only blot on their ledger was Scott Parker's brilliant late consolation goal, the first that wChelsea have conceded in the league this season.
Although understandably satisfied with the start, Ancelotti almost seemed concerned at the ease with which Chelsea have begun his second season in charge. He knows the real test will come with games against Manchester City then Arsenal at the turn of the month. "It has been a great start for us but we cannot afford to take anything for granted," Ancelotti said. "Yes, we have established a lead but it means nothing so early. Just as last season I see the title race going through to the end. So far we have played very well but we are also a bit lucky to be in the position we are.
"A few weeks ago Manchester United conceded late to draw at Fulham then losing two late goals at Everton means they have dropped another two points. So if that hadn't happened they would be level. It is vital then that just because we have made such a good start we don't lose our focus or concentration. "I made sure I reminded the players about that at half time. We had the comfort of an early start then a second goal, but just before half time they had a goal ruled out for a narrow offside decision. It did concern me that the players might become a bit too relaxed. I made that point and they responded well. West Ham put us under quite a lot of pressure in the second half but we coped very well."
For West Ham, the outlook is grim. This was the club's fourth straight defeat, the worst start to a campaign in the club's history. "We had more chances than Chelsea in the first half but didn't take them," said Avram Grant, the manager. "We had a lot of pressure in the second half but just couldn't score until it was too late. "But I take many positives. Some of our new players came and did well. And compared to our previous three games the organisation was better. This is a new team but things are coming together. I always feel pressure but I am confident we will start to get the right results."