- Premier League
Benitez expresses Terry fitness fears
Chelsea skipper John Terry could miss the club's entire Christmas programme, with manager Rafa Benitez saying he does not know for sure when the defender will have fully recovered from a knee injury.
Terry has not played since November 11, when he suffered the injury in a collision with Liverpool forward Luis Suarez at Stamford Bridge.
Although Benitez said Terry had been making some progress, it appears unlikely that he will appear in any of the club's four games over the festive period and he will definitely not face Aston Villa on Sunday.
"The problem is inflammation," Benitez said. "The knee is so complicated. Today was fine in the warm-up, but then he gets a problem. It's one step forward, one back. Hopefully it will be easier in next few weeks.
"At least he's now on the pitch - that is positive news - but we cannot say, we cannot predict how long it will take. I hope he will be available at Christmas, but I can't guarantee anything."
However, when asked whether Terry would need another operation, Benitez said: "I don't think so."
Chelsea play Villa on Sunday before travelling to Norwich on Boxing Day. They are on the road again for the final match of 2012, at Everton, before a west London derby against Queens Park Rangers on January 2.