Drogba has malaria but will still face Fulham

CHELSEA manager Carlo Ancelotti insists Didier Drogba will play against Fulham tonight despite the striker being diagnosed with malaria.

The Ivory Coast international has been suffering from the tropical disease for the past month but doctors only identified the cause of his illness on Monday.

Drogba was left on the bench for Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Liverpool but, having started a course of medication, Ancelotti plans to use him as Chelsea look to bounce back in the west London derby.

“He had a problem,” said the Italian. “He has this virus and, obviously, he lost power and training. He lost his condition. He’s had treatment and now he’s okay. He’ll come back immediately in the best condition.

“He suffered because he wasn’t 100 per cent but now, after treatment, he’ll be better. He had malaria. He had the tests in the last day and they showed this kind of virus. Now he’s good.”

Drogba first complained of feeling unwell before the October international break, and missed subsequent games against Aston Villa and Spartak Moscow.

“I don’t know where he got it from,” Ancelotti added. “I gave him a few days off and he went on holiday for a few days, and now he has malaria. It’s over now. It was serious once. Now it’s a bit different and you can treat it very well and move on very quickly.

“Didier was, for this month, having difficulty to train. He didn’t feel good. He was unselfish by playing when he was not at 100 per cent. Now he has the possibility to improve his condition without a problem. He will play on Tuesday.”

Midfielder Michael Essien is also set to return but Ancelotti could be without striker Nicolas Anelka and defender Alex, who need late checks on back and knee problems respectively.