John Terry was today ruled out of Chelsea's Barclays Premier League game at Swansea in the week the court case begins into allegations he racially abused Anton Ferdinand.
Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas announced Terry would not travel to the Liberty Stadium tomorrow night after aggravating an injury to his right knee first suffered in this month's FA Cup win over Portsmouth.
The Swansea match takes place less than 24 hours before proceedings begin at Westminster Magistrates Court over whether Terry used a racist slur against QPR defender Ferdinand back in October, a charge he denies.
Chelsea insisted the decision not to risk Terry tomorrow was purely on medical grounds after he played through the pain in Saturday's fourth-round cup win at Rangers, a match the defender was determined not to miss.
Terry has been suffering with fluid in the knee since colliding with a post during the January 8 third-round victory against Pompey but is expected to be fit for Sunday's league clash with Manchester United.
Villas-Boas told Chelsea TV: "It's just a bone oedema that he has been carrying for some time since he collided with a post, if I am not wrong against Portsmouth, and this stops him a little bit.
"It's nothing serious but something to keep an eye on. He has had an MRI before and he should be okay for Man United."
Terry's absence will almost certainly see a debut for January signing Gary Cahill alongside David Luiz.
Villas-Boas added: "We have a lot of positions covered, of course, because of our squad.
"We have Gary and David available and competing and hopefully we can make the right decision."
Petr Cech looks certain to captain the side, with Villas-Boas confirming Frank Lampard was not quite ready to return from the calf problem that ruled him out on Saturday.
He said: "Frank's rehabilitation is going well, we are trying to reintroduce him gradually to the first team activities.
"Frank felt that it was still a little bit soon to come back and went on to work with the physios, so hopefully after Swansea we will get him ready for the Man United game."