Terry's back! Chelsea skipper to play in kids game in race to return from knee injury
14:00 GMT, 8 January 2013
14:11 GMT, 8 January 2013
Chelsea captain John Terry is close to returning to full fitness and may play in the club’s Under 21s side on Thursday, according to manager Rafa Benitez.
Terry has been sidelined for nearly two months since injuring his knee when Chelsea drew with Liverpool.
Benitez revealed: ‘He has been training and we are considering giving him some minutes in the Under 21 game on Thursday.’
In full training: Rafael Benitez has reveled John Terry is close to a first team return
‘We will see how he feels on Thursday
and, hopefully, he can play more minutes in a short time. We will see.
But at least it's a positive thing. Before he was just doing the
warm-up, so we're obviously closer.
‘It depends on his reaction. Thursday
will be a different kind of game, but we will see how he feels. He will
train the day after and, at least then, we can start considering him an
The Chelsea manager, who is under pressure to deliver trophies for trigger-happy owner Roman Abramovich after Pep Guardiola declared his readiness to return to management, also believes the competition for a starting place between strikers Demba Ba, signed at the start of the January transfer window from Newcastle, and 50million striker Fernando Torres will help get the best out of both of them.
Rehabilitation: Terry back in training in the new year
Ouch: The knee injury suffered by Terry has kept him out for two months
Benitez said: ‘They both know they have to compete, and that it’s positive for both of them to have the competition.
'It's always important for any side to have different attacking options, so it’s good to have Demba Ba and Fernando Torres, especially with so many games.’
Ahead of facing Swansea in the first leg of the Capital One cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday Benitez added: ‘We have been playing a lot of games, so it’s complicated for us to prepare at times, but in a top side it has to be like this.
Urgent call: Benitez will be desperate to get Terry back as soon as possible
‘Swansea are a top side, we have a lot of respect for them, it should be a good game for the fan.
‘I will try to do my best for my club and get Chelsea to the final, and win.
‘We are growing and maturing and this experience is allowing us to improve together.’
Benitez also discussed the Ballon D'or, saying: ‘We were talking about that earlier – who decides and how they vote. But maybe you're missing one or two players from this team.
‘When you talk about the Spanish league, you talk about Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are always in the CL and winning it.
‘You see those players in the list. The Premier League is a good league, very competitive, and you can lose against anyone.
‘We had a good example, unfortunately, against QPR. In Spain it's more difficult to see the difference, say, between Barcelona and Espanyol.’