Terry to spend more time on the bench, says Chelsea boss Benitez

Rafael Benitez has said that Chelsea captain John Terry is likely to remain as a substitute until his knee injury clears up once and for all, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Terry suffered the injury in November and has started only twice since then, and stayed on the bench for the duration of the Blues’ 1-0 win over Sparta Prague on Thursday. Another substitute, Oscar, scored late on to give the Premier League side a slender advantage ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge.

Benitez explained the decision not to utilise Terry at all in the match by referring to the centre-back’s injury, revealing that he was concerned with the fitness levels of the skipper and that he has work to do before he is ready to play regularly again.

Last week he had a setback, although there was no reaction when he came back to training,” Benitez said. “We have to manage the situation. He has to work. He has to train more with the team and then he will have more options to play.

The Spaniard added: “It’s a vicious circle – if he cannot play, he cannot improve his match-fitness, but if he can’t train with the team he can’t improve his fitness. In the meantime, if Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic are doing well, we can keep winning games. I am pleased with both of them.

Chelsea play League One side Brentford at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in an FA Cup Fourth Round replay. The winners of the tie will meet Championship outfit Middlesbrough in the next round.

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