Chelsea have been dealt a blow ahead of their clash with Manchester United after John Terry suffered a setback in his recovery from an ankle injury.
The Blue captain, who only returned to full fitness ahead of last Saturday’s 3-0 win over Leicester City, has picked up another knock to the ankle he sprained back in September, according to the times
Terry is now set to miss the reunion with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho as the Portuguese manager brings his United squad to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
The ex-England skipper had been sidelined for a month after initially injuring his ankle in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw away at Swansea City, and was forced to continue on for the final few minutes of that meeting after Antonio Conte had made all three substitutions in the match.
Terry was subsequently ruled out of the following five matches in all competitions, before being passed fit to take his place on the bench against Claudio Ranieri’s Premier League champions.
However, despite expecting to be fit enough to feature against the Red Devils, the 35-year-old centre back has been ruled out of contention after sustaining further damage to the same area as before – a move that will likely lead Conte to stick with the defence that has served him well in Terry’s absence.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill and David Luiz have lined up as a three-man central defence in recent Chelsea games and, after suffering two defeats in three outings, the trio have gone on to record back-to-back clean sheets in the victories over Hull and Leicester after the Italian switched to his tried and tested 3-4-3 formation.
Terry now faces a race against time to be fit enough to take on fellow London-based side West Ham United at the London Stadium in the fourth round of the EFL Cup next Wednesday.