Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has confirmed that captain John Terry has picked up an injury in training and will be out of action for up to three weeks.
The 35-year-old will face a spell on the sidelines after suffering a muscular problem earlier this week, and Conte couldn’t hide his disappointment as he praised the veteran defender for building himself back up after his last setback.
“For tomorrow, John Terry and John Obi Mikel aren’t available,” he said in his press conference on Friday, as reported by the Evening Standard.
“John has a muscular problem in his gluteus and Mikel also has a muscular problem. [Terry] did it in training and will be out for two or three weeks.”
It won’t come as tough a blow as it might have done in recent years, given that Conte has switched to a 3-4-3 system with Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill establishing themselves as permanent fixtures in a back three.
Chelsea have won six consecutive games, scored 17 goals and conceded none since making the change and putting that trio in place, and so there is clearly no reason to change anything and so Terry’s absence won’t make much of a difference.
His leadership from the sidelines and in the dressing room coupled with the cover that he provides could potentially be an issue while out, but Chelsea will be full of confidence to march on and protect their lead at the top of the Premier League without their influential captain.
It may well also open up a spot on the bench for Kurt Zouma who is continuing his own recovery from injury having been out since February.
Chelsea will face a tough test against Tottenham this weekend though despite their opponent’s poor form heading into the derby, and Terry’s experience will be a noticeable loss prior to the game.