CHELSEA goalkeeper Petr Cech believes his protective headguard prevented him and team-mate Kurt Zouma from suffering greater injury during a nasty collision in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup quarter-final victory over Derby County.
Fears Zouma had been seriously hurt grew after he was floored following a clash of heads with Cech, although Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has since confirmed the France Under-21 defender is set to be fit for Monday’s fixture with Stoke.
Cech has worn a soft helmet since fracturing his skull in a clash with then Reading forward Stephen Hunt at the Madejski Stadium in 2006, and insists the helmet was the principal reason he and Zouma escaped so lightly.
“I was a bit concerned because we collided with a heavy clash,” said Cech. “I think it was lucky he hit my helmet because the impact would have been much bigger.
“I think the helmet saved him, me as well, because he hit most of the helmet and took away a little bit of the impact. In this kind of clash you never know. He did not look so good to continue.”
■ The headguard is soft in construction with padded areas of dense foam all over
■ Rules state it must cause no risk to the safety of either the wearer, team-mate or opponent while being worn
■ The protection has no areas that could cause the unnatural deviation of the ball if it were to strike the helmet
■ Mourinho said Cech was dying on the pitch after fracturing his skull in a clash with Reading’s Stephen Hunt