Early return of 'bionic' Terry gives Grant much to ponder
Saturday 16 February 2008
John Terry is back for Chelsea in the FA Cup against Huddersfield Town today after recovering from a broken foot ahead of schedule. The Independent revealed yesterday that the club captain had told Avram Grant that he was fit and ready to prove his fitness ahead of next Sunday's Carling Cup final.
The Chelsea manager said last Sunday that the 27-year-old would not be ready to play against Tottenham at Wembley but by yesterday he had changed his opinion entirely and said Terry would, at the very least, be on the bench today. "He has surprised us all," Grant said. "Maybe he is a bionic man. He recovers very quickly and well and maybe he will be available. Maybe he will be on the bench or even start, but we haven't decided about that yet. But each injury depends on the person and he is very strong, not just mentally, but also physically."
Terry's return comes after a week of training with the first team and now leaves Grant with the difficult choice of leaving out one from Ricardo Carvalho and Alex to accommodate his captain. Most importantly for Terry, he now has the chance to impress Fabio Capello for the first time since the new England manager was appointed.
"He is a very important player for us. I haven't seen a captain like him," Grant said. "I have been all over the world and he is a big captain and influence on the team. For me a captain leads by example and not just talking. He sets a good example and we miss him a lot on the pitch."
Terry has not played since 16 December, when he broke three bones in his right foot, including his third metatarsal, in a challenge with the Arsenal winger Emmanuel Eboué. As well as the FA Cup fifth round tie today, he will also have the chance to prove his fitness ahead of next Sunday's final in Tuesday's Champions League game against Olympiakos in Greece.
Grant promised to play a strong team against Huddersfield and now has a much greater choice among his squad following the return from the African Nations Cup of Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel and Salomon Kalou. Drogba did not train yesterday with a minor injury although Grant said he would be fit to play today. He admitted that it would be difficult to accommodate all of the players in what has become a richly-resourced squad.
"I don't think we upset people because the players in Chelsea are fully committed to the team," said Grant. "I can never guarantee that I will make everybody happy but they are positive and that is what is important."
Latest in Sport
England vs New Zealand second Test match report: England’s bold boast turns into hot air and humiliation
Fifa corruption: Sepp Blatter's right-hand man Jerome Valcke 'sent' $10m payment to Jack Warner in letter from the South African FA
England 'favourites' to host 2018 World Cup after Sepp Blatter resignation - Qatar and Russia under pressure
Michael Schumacher: Bernie Ecclestone reveals why he can't visit former F1 champion because he 'doesn't want to see him like that'
Brendan Rodgers' job safe for now but Liverpool owners plan for improvement
- 1 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 2 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
- 5 We have six months to save the world, says leading economist
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers