CHELSEA’S Premier League title hopes have been dealt a major blow with the news that captain John Terry faces an indefinite spell on the sidelines with a long-term nerve problem in his right leg.
The champions’ lead at the top of the table was cut to just two points on Sunday following their 3-0 defeat by Sunderland at Stamford Bridge.
Terry missed that defeat after the injury, which has troubled him since the end of last season, flared up over the weekend.
Terry said: “I have been struggling with a nerve pain coming from the top of my leg down to my hamstring and to the outside of my calf.
“It started towards the end of last season. I had three weeks’ rest after the World Cup and thought I would come back without it, but since then it has got worse and worse.
“It has been manageable up until the last two weeks but when we played Fulham I stretched to win the ball against Clint Dempsey and it got a lot worse.
“It is at a point where I can’t carry on with it. I used to be able to make it through games because the adrenaline gets going and you blank the pain out, but now there really is no decision to make.
“After games I am in agony and not sleeping at all. I used to play with pain at seven out of 10. Now? It’s 10 out of 10. I need to take a few weeks rest, see a couple of specialists and solve the problem.”
An epidural treatment administered on Friday failed to work, ruling him out of the defeat against Sunderland and England’s friendly with France at Wembley tomorrow.
Terry explained: “The epidural could have helped with the pain for between six weeks and two years. They said it works on 75 per cent of cases, but unfortunately I am in the other 25 per cent.
“Basically, I am trying whatever is suggested. I’m at my wits’ end. I know I won’t play on Saturday against Birmingham City, but beyond that there are no clues. It could be weeks, it could be months.”