[unable to retrieve full-text content]
â€¢ Scan confirms defender suffered fractures at Benfica
â€¢ ‘I don’t think it will mean I’m out at all,’ defender says
John Terry has declared himself available for Chelsea’s cluttered fixture list despite a scan confirming the defender suffered two fractured ribs in the first leg of the Champions League quarterâ€‘final against Benfica last week, an injury he went on to aggravate in the return fixture.
The Chelsea captain, who had played the entirety of Saturday’s Premier League victory at Aston Villa, had to be withdrawn on the hour on Wednesday as he was struggling to breathe after taking another knock to his side. Terry is expected to be rested for Saturday’s visit of Wigan Athletic but hopes to play in the derby at Fulham on Monday, the second of eight games in 26 days, ahead of FA Cup and Champions League semiâ€‘finals against Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona.
Club doctors had feared Terry had cracked his ribs in Portugal but with time required for the injury to heal properly, he only underwent a scan on Thursday after sustaining another blow to the area. Those tests confirmed the fractures and the club’s medical department will continue to monitor the injury. Terry will play with painkillers and heavy strapping around his chest.
“I’m struggling a bit, to be honest,” the defender said. “I got an elbow in the ribs about 20 minutes into the away leg and the doctors feared I’d fractured two of them. I thought it was OK but, later in the second half [on Wednesday], it just seemed to be getting worse and I was struggling to breathe. It was difficult. I have never felt anything like that before.
“I don’t think it will mean I’m out at all. It’s just a case of managing it, and things like that. I know there are ways around it. With the ribs you can’t really do anything: you can’t treat the injury or massage it to make it better. You just have to let it heal, but I can get through games, definitely. The guys have got a few ideas to get me through them.”
Terry’s continued importance to Chelsea was illustrated towards the end of AndrÃ© Villas-Boas’s unhappy tenure, when he was absent after undergoing exploratory surgery on a knee bruised during an FA Cup third-round tie against Portsmouth. The centre-half missed eight games, only two of which were won, though the interim first-team manager, Roberto Di Matteo, is still expected to rest the player for the visit of Wigan given the heavy workload to come.
The Italian intends to juggle his squad as much he can over the period ahead â€“ he will benefit from six days between Monday’s trip to Craven Cottage and the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley against Spurs â€“ but will be anxious to ensure Terry is fit for the games against BarÃ§a and there is a league trip to Arsenal sandwiched between the European contests. The centre-half is the only man to have played every minute of all eight matches between the English and Spanish clubs during the Roman Abramovich era at Stamford Bridge.
“It’s a busy time for fixtures and if I’m honest, I feel we looked a little bit tired against Benfica,” Terry said. “The tempo was a little bit slow and that’s just down to the busy schedule and the number of games we’ve played. Now we’ve got two in three days this weekend as well before the semis, so it doesn’t get easier.”