Chelsea captain John Terry is set for up to three weeks on the sidelines after suffering a muscle injury.The centre-back only recently returned to action after shaking off an ankle problem he sustained against Swansea City in September.
Terry has been limited to six minutes of Premier League action since, though he did play the entire game in Chelsea’s EFL Cup defeat to West Ham last month.
The 35-year-old featured for Chelsea’s Under-23 side on Monday, but will now not be available for at least the next fortnight.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s meeting with London rivals Tottenham, manager Antonio Conte said: “For tomorrow Terry and [John Obi] Mikel aren’t available.
“John has a muscular problem and Obi will train with us again next week.“It’s a pity [for Terry] because he recovered well from his last injury and now he has to start again.”
Winger Willian has not featured for Chelsea since the win at Southampton last month.The Brazil international has been linked with a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.
But Conte said: “Willian has come back, now it’s important to find good form because in this period he was unlucky.
“It’s important now to be focused on the work, Willian is an important player for us and I count on him a lot.” Chelsea hero Zola wary over Kane form
Meanwhile Chelsea great Gianfranco Zola believes Tottenham’s Harry Kane poses a threat to his former club’s imperious Premier League form when the London rivals meet at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Antonio Conte’s league leaders have won their past six top-flight matches without conceding a goal, while Spurs needed a late turnaround against West Ham last Saturday to end a run of four consecutive draws.
Kane’s late brace sealed a 3-2 triumph at White Hart Lane and the England striker, who returned this month from seven weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury, now boasts a remarkable record of 18 goals in 22 games against London opposition
“It’s a team that is difficult to beat. It’s a team that has, in my opinion, a good balance of the two faces – they can attack well, but also they can defend well,” Zola, who was speaking at the official unveiling of William Hill’s Chelsea shop on Fulham Broadway, told Omnisport.
“Probably they are not going through the best moment, but they still are a team that you need to perform well against to beat.
“Now they have Harry Kane back, who is a player that is very important to the economy of their game. This can certainly be a very positive thing for them, but, as I said, Chelsea is in a very positive moment.”
Spurs are aiming to bounce back from a 2-1 loss at Monaco on Tuesday that ended their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League, although the volatile nature of the Premier League means Zola does not feel Chelsea can be sure of continuing their stellar run.
“I am confident in a way, but not confident in another because we are talking about the Premier League which is at the moment one of the most unpredictable leagues in the world,” he added.
“Anyone can beat anyone. I am confident Chelsea are in a good moment, they won six games in a row and deserved to win all of them.“They look good and that makes me feel good, but the Premier League is tough so there will be a little bit of uncertainty.
“If Chelsea maintain the same standards they have a very good chance.”
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