Chelsea last night dismissed claims that John Terry would miss up to three months action after surgery on a slipped disc and released footage of the club captain already on his feet and jogging after the operation in France.
Terry was operated on by the French surgeon Jean Destandau to rectify a "sequestrated lumbar intervertebral disc". The England captain's prognosis looked bleak, but yesterday the Chelsea club doctor, Bryan English, said that the technique used in France would allow Terry to confound the experts' predictions that he would be out for up to three months.
The operation was to remove some of the soft inner part of the disc that had escaped through a hole and was putting pressure on the spinal cord. The usual recovery time for such an operation is three months, but Dr English said that he believed that Terry's recovery would take much less time.
Dr English said: "We are not going to do anything with John that will cause him any problems. I'm not in the game of pushing him out there because it is for the benefit of Chelsea football club but I also don't want to hold him back unnecessarily.
"I won't say exactly how long it will take him to recover but when I hear so-called experts say he will have a six-week recovery - without knowing his pathology, what he has done or who he has been working with - then I have a problem with that.
"You always keep players away from surgery if you can. With this diagnosis there's a way to remove a prolapsed disc which involves not cutting through any muscle or ligaments, just the disc that is causing the problem. It is a very difficult procedure and I am sure it is troublesome in the wrong hands.
"It took a few days to find the best person to do it because we won't send someone like 'JT' to anyone unless we think they are the best and most experienced person in the world in their field. All the arrows pointed towards Jean Destandau, a surgeon in France, to do it. If there had been someone with that level of experience doing that technique in the UK I am sure we would have used them."
The Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has admitted that he considered his future at the champions this summer. He told BBC's Football Focus: "Every end of the season you have to think about what you have done. I had some teams who wanted to sign me so I had to think as I had won the League here for two consecutive years.
"I was thinking, but not too much because Chelsea showed how they respect me and how they wanted me to stay. It was not about Shevchenko [arriving] but was just about Chelsea and me."Reuse content