Posted on: Fri 19 Jan 2007

The path has been further cleared for Petr Cech to return to competitive action with the news that the authorities have approved his protective headgear.


Cech has sought extra protection to his skull, which has recovered from fracture, by wearing a special head guard in training.


On Thursday, an inspection was carried out by referee Rob Styles on the protector the Chelsea keeper intends to wear in matches.


Styles will referee Chelsea's match against Liverpool on Saturday.


The FA's head of senior referee development Neale Barry said: 'As head guards are not part of the players' basic compulsory equipment as set out in the laws of the game, it's essential that they are safe to wear.


'This head guard is soft in construction with padded areas of dense foam all over to protect the head of the wearer. It covers the ears but there's a hole on each side so that his hearing is unaffected.


'The helmet could cause no risk to the safety of either the wearer or any team-mate or opponent of his whilst being worn. It has a Velcro under chin strap and no extraordinary areas on the helmet that could cause unnatural deviation of the ball if it were to either strike the helmet or if the wearer were to head the ball.'


Earlier on Friday, José Mourinho announced that he had yet to tell his keepers of his choice for between the posts at Anfield, but that Cech was available for selection if required.