Cech injury blow leaves Chelsea reliant on Turnbull to keep them in title race
16:11 GMT, 31 December 2012
Chelsea have been dealt a huge blow in the title race with goalkeeper Petr Cech sidelined by a groin injury.
Reserve stopper Ross Turnbull stepped in for Cech at half-time during Chelsea's 2-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.
The Blues are currently unsure how long Cech will be kept out for, with further tests needed to determine the recovery period.
Big blow: Petr Cech (centre) has suffered a groin muscle injury
Turnbull, who was relatively untroubled during the 45 minutes he played against Everton, is likely to start on Wednesday against Queens Park Rangers.
The 27-year-old's only appearance prior to Sunday this season was in Chelsea's 6-0 victory over Wolves in the Capital One Cup.
Cech said after the game: 'I think it was in 40th minute when I was punching the ball away and when I jumped I felt pain in my right groin.
'I finished the half knowing I would not be able to continue after the break. We will see how serious it is. We will know more after the medical check that I undergo tomorrow.'
Struggle: Ross Turnbull has not made any impact at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea's back-up keepers, Turnbull and Henrique Hilario, are unsuitable to replace Cech over a long period of time.
The club have highly-rated Belgian stopper Thibaut Courtois on loan at Atletico Madrid and if Cech's injury proves to be severe they could recall him.
Courtois is likely to fight for the No 1 shirt at Chelsea next season with both Turnbull and Hilario making way.