Yuri Zhirkov believes his continuing knee problems following his transfer to Chelsea have been caused by his move to London.
Zhirkov, who joined Chelsea from CSKA Moscow in the summer for £18 million, has revealed that his doctors have said the change of environment is the most likely reason for his injury problems.
“The English doctors see my problems as a reaction of the body to drastic changes – in the climate, lifestyle, training work and in everything else,” he said in the London Evening Standard, “and no-one can tell me what the medical predictions of my rehabilitation are.
“The British physicians even consulted with German specialists regarding me. They sent them my X-rays together with the detailed description of the problem but, as far as I understand, they failed to diagnose the problem.
“I try to remain optimistic – many players have had such difficulties. I am not the first, not the last. It is a pity that the problems coincided with my move to a new club, but if I keep being distressed the situation will not change. I must work and believe that everything is going to straighten out soon.”
Despite his travails Zhirkov feels he is now capable of playing and he is due to feature for Russia in their World Cup play-off match against Slovenia on Wednesday.
“Actually my knees are getting better,” he said. “Before going to the national team, I spent two comprehensive training sessions with Chelsea without any difficulty.”