Belfast Telegraph

Terry ruled out of London derby

By Matt McGeehan

Chelsea captain John Terry faces more than two weeks out injured and will miss today's Premier League clash with Tottenham, head coach Antonio Conte says.

The defender, 36 next month, has made one substitute appearance since Chelsea began a six-match winning run in the Premier League, scoring 17 goals without reply.

His only start since returning from an ankle injury was in the EFL Cup loss at West Ham in October.

"For tomorrow I don't have available John Terry and (John) Obi Mikel," Conte said.

"John has a muscular problem and Obi is recovering from a muscular problem."

While Mikel is expected to return to training next week, Terry faces an absence of "two, three weeks, maybe", Conte says, with a gluteus (buttocks) problem.

Given his lack of game time, Terry featured for Chelsea's development squad in Monday afternoon's 3-2 win over Southampton.

"I'm not sure if the injury was in the under-23 game or the day after," Conte said.

Terry played 70 minutes of the game, which also saw Kurt Zouma, Cesc Fabregas, Marco van Ginkel and Michy Batshuayi feature.

That shows the strength in depth at Chelsea, who lead the Premier League standings entering this weekend's fixtures.

The Blues finished 10th in their woeful title defence last season but had a say in the championship by drawing 2-2 with Tottenham in May.

The bad-tempered clash saw Spurs concede a two-goal lead, extending their 26-year wait for a win over the Blues at Stamford Bridge, and handed Leicester the Premier League title.

There were 12 yellow cards - nine for Spurs - and both clubs were fined by the Football Association for failure to control their players.

And Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele was retrospectively banned for six matches, missing the start of this season, for an apparent eye gouge on Chelsea striker Diego Costa.

Belfast Telegraph


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