London: Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo does not know whether Didier Drogba will be fit for next week's Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, but the prospects are not looking good.
The Ivory Coast striker scored in this week's 1-0 first-leg win over the defending European champions but has been ruled out of Saturday's Premier League match against Arsenal because of a knee injury sustained in that match.
"We have to assess him tomorrow and Sunday and how he recovers," Di Matteo said on Friday. "He got pushed and kicked around quite a lot in the game on Wednesday."
Drogba's absence is likely to give Fernando Torres or Daniel Sturridge the opportunity to start on Saturday. The pair have been on the bench for Chelsea's last two matches.
The 34-year-old Drogba is out of contract at the end of the season and may not get another chance to win the Champions League. He helped Chelsea reach the 2008 final but was sent off for slapping Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic and United won a shoot-out following a 1-1 draw.
However, Di Matteo insists Drogba has the ability to remain at Chelsea beyond the current campaign, after the striker reportedly turned down an approach from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua in January.
"Didiers fit and he is certainly capable of playing in the Premier League for Chelsea, or someone else next year," Di Matteo told reporters. "He could do it for another couple of years at this level. He wont retire. Whether hell be here or elsewhere, I dont know. Hes part of the history of this club, like many players, and always will be. But the final decision is for the club to take."
Meanwhile, according to his agent, the striker wants to stay at Stamford Bridge and will not play for another Premier League club. "What Didier is showing right now may lead the club to think again [about offering him a new contract]," Thierno Seydi told L'Equipe. "Didier loves Chelsea, he wants to, stay but if it doesn't work out, he'll leave. We have many offers."
"One thing is sure: if Didier is still in England next season, it will be with Chelsea and nobody else."