John Terry is facing a battle to be fit for Chelsea’s crucial Champions League second leg against Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.
The Chelsea captain has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury and with fellow defender Kurt Zouma facing a long spell on the sidelines with a serious knee injury, the club are thin on central defenders.
But interim Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink is prepared to give the 35-year-old every chance to prove his fitness ahead of the second leg of the round-of-16 tie on March 9, with his side trailing 2-1.
Subsequently, the injury also means Terry is unlikely to play in Chelsea’s Premier League fixtures against Norwich City and Stoke City.
“If he needs a game we might organise a game, an intense game,” said Hiddink.
“Maybe he needs 11 v 11 at Cobham [Chelsea’s training ground] or maybe six v six or seven v seven but with intensity.
“It’s very tight, it’s very tight [Terry’s chances of being fit].”
Terry is yet to sign a new contract with the club, and has expressed his willingness to look elsewhere should Chelsea – his only full-time senior club – fail to come to the table with a deal.
But Hiddink does not believe the former England international will want to rush his return to the first team in order to prove his worthiness of a new contract.
“If the medical staff says [Terry can play against Norwich on Tuesday] and John says so, then I’ll be careful,” the Dutchman said.
“Because I have the experience in the past with these kind of injuries.
“Someone thinks ‘I’m fine, I feel OK’, but the demands of the game are a little bit different than training.
“I prefer to wait, although everyone is knocking on the door, I prefer to wait, especially in relation to the games coming up.
“I don’t think [Terry will come back too soon because of his contract situation]. We talked. I said ‘Hey, let’s take our time’, not to rush things and nothing to do with the contractual situation.
“I have the experience to wait, maybe even a game longer than everyone thinks.”
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