Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Terry Injury Leaves Chelsea Vulnerable

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Terry Injury Leaves Chelsea Vulnerable

Article excerpt

Byline: By Duncan Bech

Jose Mourinho admitted Chelsea are struggling without John Terry after watching the Blues drop two points in the Barclays Premiership title race, writes Duncan Bech.

And he is braced for the possibility of continuing without Terry for the foreseeable future after revealing the England skipper may require surgery on his recurring back problem.

Terry watched from the stands as Chelsea's Premiership title defence suffered a setback when a bizarre Michael Essien own-goal handed Reading a point at Stamford Bridge.

He has now missed the last four matches and Mourinho is waiting on a decision from his medical team to see whether the 26-year-old needs an operation. "I've no idea when John will be back," he said. "Up until now no-one has told whether he will go for surgery or need some other type of treatment.

"I want John to be back at soon as possible. The medical department will have to make a decision soon."

Mourinho is also waiting for an update on Joe Cole's fractured foot with the England midfielder possibly also facing an operation.

Chelsea looked set to replace Manchester United at the top of the Premiership, if only temporarily, when Didier Drogba nodded home a precision Shaun Wright-Phillips cross to restore their lead. Drogba had started the scoring in the first half when he rose to meet Frank Lampard's corner only for Leroy Lita to snatch an equaliser following excellent work from Glen Little.

But an 85th-minute blunder from substitute Ashley Cole allowed Reading to steal a share of the spoils. Kevin Doyle crossed but Cole, who was under no pressure, rushed his clearance, hitting it straight at Essien who unwittingly deflected the ball into the net.

Essien finished the match in central defence and Mourinho admitted the absence of Terry and goalkeeper Petr Cech is putting pressure on the strikers. "To lose Petr and John at the same time is a very difficult problem to solve, especially in a squad without more central defenders," he said. "Normally for Chelsea three consecutive matches would mean three clean sheets but at this moment in three consecutive matches we have conceded six goals. …

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