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
Cristiano Ronaldo could return against Manchester United - but it won't be like previous reunions
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: New £16m signing put through Arsenal initiation as he sings The Kooks in front of team-mates
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Daley Blind and Thomas Vermaelen on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
New Liverpool signing Dejan Lovren forced to train with the under-21s after US visa mix-up
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'