John Terry will have to wait a little longer for his 700th Chelsea appearance, with Blues manager Guus Hiddink choosing to err on the side of caution ahead of Saturday’s game against Southampton at St.Mary’s Stadium.
The Chelsea captain is currently stuck on 699 appearances for the Stamford Bridge club, the last of which was against Newcastle United in the Blues’ 5-1 rout. Terry has since missed fixtures against PSG in the Champions League and Manchester City in the FA Cup, and will also sit out the game against Southampton this weekend.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s January loan signing Alexandre Pato is reportedly still not match fit, and the Brazilian striker will join his captain on the sidelines on Saturday. The Blues will also be without Colombian centre-forward Radamel Falcao, who has been out with a muscle injury since the end of October last year.
Providing an update on Terry’s injury situation, Hiddink said in his pre-match press conference (via chelseafc.com), “He will not be fit. He is still in treatment, every now and then he goes in the gym. He is doing exercises there and on the pitch but he is not fit.
“We want to be careful with this kind of injury. When you have something in the tendon or in the hamstring then sometimes you think, as a player or manager, that it appears to be good, but you must be careful.
“I am in favour of waiting two or three days more because it’s not good to have a setback.”
The Englishman’s absence will mean that Serbian defender Branislav Ivanović will once again wear the captain’s armband and fill in at left centre-back. As such, Spaniard César Azpilicueta is expected to continue at right-back, while summer signing Abdul Baba Rahman will retain his place at left-back.
There are no other injury concerns for Guus Hiddink, but the absence of Pato and Falcao means that youngster Bertrand Traoré will be on the bench once again. The Burkina Faso international has three goals in his last three appearances for Chelsea, and Hiddink expressed his delight at the 20-year-old’s contribution in his press conference.