AVB nightmare as Terry faces two months out
Published 14:17 21/02/12 By Martin Lipton
John Terry today dealt Chelsea a devastating blow when he was ruled out of tonight's Champions League game win Napoli.
And the bad news for Andre Villas-Boas got instantly worse as the Stamford Bridge boss was told he is likely to be without his skipper for TWO MONTHS.
Terry, who has missed the last four games after being forced to give way to the knee injury he sustained when he collided with the post making a goalline clearance in the FA Cup win over Portsmouth on January 7, flew out to southern Italy with the rest of the Chelsea squad.
While clearly struggling with the injury during the training session at the Stadio San Paolo, a determined Terry insisted after the session that he was still in contention to play and was evidently desperate to return to the Blues back line.
Chelsea have failed to keep a clean sheet in Terry's absence and needed a defensive boost ahead of their potential ordeal at the hands of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Marek Hamsik and Edinson Cavani this evening.
But instead Terry woke this morning at Chelsea's port-side hotel in agony with the problem having worsened overnight, instantly ruling him out of contention for the crunch game that could define Villas-Boas' reign.
And with Chelsea medics called in, it became clear that the problem of bruising on the bone, which Terry had initially played through, can no longer be cured by rest and recuperation, as had been hoped.
Terry is now set to undergo what was described as a "small procedure" in the next 24 hours after Chelsea fly back to London this evening.
But while the 31-year-old is expected to play again this season, Chelsea expect he will be ruled out for up to two months, meaning he would only be available for the countdown to the end of the campaign.
The immediate impact will see Villas-Boas having to shuffle his pack, with Gary Cahill likely to play alongside David Luiz at centre-back this evening, although Branislav Ivanovic may move inside which would see Jose Bosingwa playing on the right.
It also solves a potential problem for England caretaker boss Stuart Pearce who would otherwise have had to decide whether or not to name Terry in the squad he announces on Thursday for next week's Wembley friendly with Holland.
Terry's enforced loss of the captaincy while he awaits trial on the allegation of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand was the catalyst for Fabio Capello;s departure and Pearce's temporary installation in the Three Lions dug-out.