Terry rejects Di Matteo's talk of knee problems

 

The Chelsea captain, John Terry, has dismissed fears that he has a troublesome knee injury and is determined to face Portsmouth in the FA Cup third round tomorrow.

The London club's assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo said yesterday that the 31-year-old had been struggling with the problem of late – it is believed Terry had an injection to get through Monday's Wolves game. Di Matteo then sparked concern by suggesting Terry faced a late fitness test today.

However, The Independent understands that the England defender took part in training for the past two days and has already made himself available to play.

Chelsea's manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has few options in central defence to face the Championship club because Branislav Ivanovic is still ruled out with a hamstring injury, while Alex is no longer considered for first-team duty after having a transfer request accepted.

Terry is desperate to start games for Chelsea at present while they struggle for consistency, which is why he played through the pain barrier during the busy festive period.

He feels he has had enough time to recover and is mystified why Di Matteo said he was still injured at Chelsea's press conference.

However, the imminent completion of Gary Cahill's £7m transfer from Bolton, with the defender set to agree personal terms, will give Villas-Boas the option of resting Terry for some low-key matches if the need arises.

Meanwhile, Di Matteo believes the FA Cup can help turn Chelsea's season around and make Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson regret ruling them out of the title race. Chelsea trail the leaders Manchester City by 11 points and are eight points behind Ferguson's side.

Di Matteo knows how the FA Cup can inspire Chelsea, having scored in their 1997 and 2000 final triumphs, and said: "This club has been very successful in the last decade in this competition. We're looking at putting our strongest team out on Sunday.

"Can it help our domestic form? Absolutely. When you have a Cup run it gives everybody confidence and lifts the atmosphere with the supporters."

Chelsea will also be without John Obi Mikel (leg), while Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou have left to join Ivory Coast's squad ahead of the African Cup of Nations.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste