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Shevchenko says injury kept him in London, not discontent

Shevchenko says injury kept him in London, not discontent

Andriy Shevchenko and Chelsea denied Tuesday that he refused to travel to Liverpool for the second leg of the Champions League semifinal in a dispute over his playing status.
"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," Chelsea said in a statement.
Shevchenko said he aggravated a groin injury in Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Bolton on Saturday, a result which virtually ended the Blues' Premier League title hopes.
"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," Shevchenko said on his official Web site. "I will remain in London and work hard on my rehabilitation to ensure I can make myself available as soon as possible."
The Ukraine forward has failed to live up to expectations since his British record 31-million-pound (US$62 million; euro45.5 million) transfer from AC Milan in the offseason.
British newspapers reported Tuesday that Shevchenko refused to join the team in Liverpool when he learned he wouldn't start Tuesday night's game. He was angry when he wasn't in the first-team practice lineup in training Sunday, the Daily Mail reported.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has had a difficult relationship with Shevchenko, who has not been the goalscoring threat of fellow striker Didier Drogba.
Several times throughout the season, Chelsea has denied reports that Mourinho wanted Shevchenko out or that the Ukraine international was unhappy and wanted to leave.
Shevchenko has scored 14 goals in 51 games for Chelsea. He played in Chelsea's 1-0 win over Liverpool in the Champions League first leg semifinal on Wednesday, and was substituted at halftime in Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Bolton on Saturday. That draw virtually ended Chelsea's hopes of winning its third straight Premier League title.
The Daily Mail also reported that Mourinho was furious that German midfielder Michael Ballack had surgery on his ankle last Friday without the club's permission.
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Updated : 2021-07-25 18:59 GMT+08:00