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Blues deny Sheva claim
01 May 2007 - 13:18:43
Chelsea have rubbished reports that Andriy Shevchenko refused to travel with the team to Liverpool for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final.
Media reports on Tuesday morning claimed the Ukraine striker stormed out of a team meeting after learning he would play no part against the Reds.
But the Blues claim Shevchenko will not play as he picked up a training ground injury and have moved to deny speculation that the £30million summer signing has fallen out with coach Jose Mourinho.
"Contrary to media reports this morning, Andriy Shevchenko did not refuse to travel with the team to Liverpool," read a club statement.
"He suffered an injury during training on Sunday and it was decided after training that he was not fit to play against Liverpool and therefore, like other injured players, did not travel."
Shevchenko denied rumours of a rift between himself and the club, telling his own website: "I am really sorry to miss the match and can't be with the team to help and support them in what must be one of the most important games in Chelsea's history.
"I will remain in London and work hard on my rehabilitation to ensure I can make myself available as soon as possible."
Meanwhile, fellow summer acquisition Michael Ballack could be on a collision course with Mourinho after reportedly undergoing surgery on an ankle injury without consulting the club.
The Germany captain is confident he will play again this season, but could be in hot water on his return to Stamford Bridge.
"I didn't have this surgery for fun and I would much rather be with the team on the pitch against Liverpool," said Ballack.
"I'm still hoping to have the possibility to play in the final."