Andre Villas-Boas has dismissed talk that he is avoiding playing new signing Gary Cahill.
Cahill, singed from Bolton for £7m last month, has played just one game for the Blues – the 3-3 draw with Manchester United.
On that occasion, he was Villas-Boas' only option: with the manager having to reshuffle his defensive pack due to the absence of John Terry and Ashley Cole.
But Villas-Boas has explained there is no rift: Cahill's absence has been due to illness.
“He was ill - Gary was ill all of last week,” said the manager. “That's why we didn't decide to put him onto Everton.
“He only trained once: that's why he didn't have that continuity that he expected for the game against Everton.
“Nothing else, because his performance was excellent against United.”
Villas-Boas said Cahill was in contention for a starting berth against Birmingham in the FA Cup tomorrow (Saturday). He also said that injured midfielder Ramires is fit to play.