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Terry named in Chelsea squad for Stoke

ESPN staff
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John Terry is nearing a return to first-team action © PA Photos
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Club captain John Terry has been included in Chelsea's squad for the Premier League game against Stoke City on Saturday.

Terry has not played a senior first-team match since damaging knee ligaments in an awkward collision with Luis Suarez during a league game against Liverpool on November 11 last year, but successfully came through 45 minutes of an under-21 fixture on Thursday evening - prompting manager Rafa Benitez to include him for the meeting with Stoke.

"He played yesterday. He was okay," Benitez said at his Friday press conference. "He has been training today. He is in the squad."

On whether Terry will start, Benítez added: "No, but he is available. It's good news for us. He has been out for 16 weeks."

However, while it has been confirmed that Terry will be named in the matchday squad - although not in the starting line-up - Cech will be subject to further assessment before a decision in his participation is made.

"He played yesterday. He was OK," said Benitez. "He has been training today. He is in the squad."

When asked whether Terry would start, the Spaniard added: "No, but he is available. It's good news for us. He has been out for 16 weeks."

Terry is yet to play a match for Benitez, who was brought in to replace Roberto Di Matteo after the Italian was sacked in the wake of the 3-0 Champions League defeat at Juventus on November 20.

In Terry's absence, Chelsea have seen their defence of the European Cup ended at the group stage, their bid to win a first FIFA Club World Cup end in a 1-0 loss to Corinthians in the final in Yokohama and, most recently, their hopes of reaching the Capital One Cup final suffer a serious setback with Wednesday's 2-0 home defeat to Swansea City in the first leg of their semi-final.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech will also travel with the rest of the team.

Cech had been expected to miss most of this month after sustaining a groin injury in the shock 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers on January 2, but will also travel to the ground where Chelsea have been held to draws on each of their last two visits.

However, while it has been confirmed that Terry will be named in the matchday squad, Cech will be subject to further assessment before a decision in his participation is made.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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