Captain John Terry is in Chelsea‘s squad for Saturday’s Premier League game against Stoke but will not start the game, interim manager Rafael Benitez has confirmed.
Terry came through 45 minutes of the Blues’ Under-21 game against Fulham on Thursday, his first appearance since suffering knee ligament damage against Liverpool in November.
Benitez confirmed that the 32 year-old has returned to training and will be in the squad for tomorrow’s game at the Britannia Stadium, but will start on the bench
“He played yesterday. He was okay,” Benitez said. “He has been training today. He is in the squad.”
Asked whether Terry will start, the Spaniard added: “No, but he is available. It’s good news for us. He has been out for 16 weeks.”
Terry has missed 16 first-team games since suffering knee ligament damage against Liverpool on Nov 11 but he started the local derby against Fulham at the club’s Cobham training ground.
Terry had an early scare when his mistake almost let in Fulham, but otherwise he was rarely troubled in a calm and composed performance before being replaced at half-time following a goalless first half.
“I have come through alright,” he told Chelsea TV after the match. “Initially I was going to play between 30 and 45 so I managed to get through the first half and the knee feels totally fine which is the main thing.
“Lungs are a little bit… which is natural, but it is good to get in 45 under my belt. It has been frustrating two months really.
“I felt fine, totally fine. Passing, tackling, everything felt fine. It’s really positive to come through a game and hopefully give myself a chance to be back involved with the first team.
“The plan was to play a half, and who knows. He (Benitez) mentioned in the press conference in the week.
“Maybe it is too soon to get back starting. The lads have been playing well as well, so I know better than anybody I have to wait my time and be patient and try to get back in the squad first, than the team after that.”