Wednesday 17 January 2018

Knee injury rules John Terry out vital clash Champions League tie in Naples’ cauldron

CHELSEA captain John Terry has been ruled out of tonight's Champions League game against Napoli – and will also miss England's friendly with Holland next week – due to a knee injury.

Andre Villas-Boas asked Terry to train at the Stadio Sao Paolo last night in the hope that he would be available to lead Chelsea.

However, the defender's knee problem, which has caused him to miss the last four Chelsea games, is still far from fixed. Indeed, there are fears that Terry may even require an operation on the injury.

Villas-Boas had rated Terry as '50-50' on Monday night. But the captain's injury means David Luiz will now partner Gary Cahill at the back.

When asked about Terry on Monday night, Villas-Boas said: "He's a player of great importance. I will leave it as late as possible and make a decision on him after the training of the team in Naples.

"The team is more important than any individual, but what we are trying to do with John is to respect his importance for the team. We will try to give him a late fitness test to give him every chance.

"There are enough characters to lead on the emotional sense. Of course JT is a great leader, gives you an extra emotional push, but at the moment, we've had to do without him.

"I think there is still enough emotion without him. If he misses out on Tuesday then we will miss a top, top player and a player who gives us great defensive stability. It would be a massive loss for us, that's for sure."

While it represents a major blow for the under pressure Villas-Boas, it does make life a little easier for interim England manager Stuart Pearce.

Terry was stripped off the England captaincy last month following the adjournment of the criminal case hanging over him. Terry will face court in July 9 charged with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.

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