Chelsea captain John Terry to miss next two games - Guus Hiddink
LONDON -- John Terry will miss Chelsea's next two Premier League matches against Southampton and Norwich City as he recovers from a hamstring injury, interim manager Guus Hiddink has confirmed.
Terry hobbled out of Chelsea's 5-1 win over Newcastle earlier this month after damaging his hamstring in an aerial tussle with Aleksandar Mitrovic, and he was sidelined for the Blues' Champions League round-of-16 first-leg defeat to Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes and FA Cup fifth-round victory over Manchester City.
Hiddink said Terry has returned to light training but stressed that he wants to be cautious to ensure his captain does not suffer any setbacks.
"He will not be fit," Hiddink said of Terry. "He's still in treatment. Every now and then he is in the gym, doing exercises on the pitch, but not fit.
"We want to be careful with this kind of injury. When you have something in the tendon or hamstring sometimes you think as a player or manager he appears to be good, but you must be careful. I'm in favour to wait even when everyone is saying he's OK, two or three days more.
"We have Norwich on Tuesday, so we'll see whether he will be available and playing fit for Stoke at the weekend."
Terry expects to leave Chelsea at the end of the season after saying he was informed in January that the club had opted not to offer him an extension to his current contract, which expires in the summer, though Chelsea insist "channels of dialogue" will remain open with their captain over his future.
The 35-year-old, who is reportedly attracting interest from China, the Middle East and MLS, has repeatedly stated his desire to transition into coaching when he retires, and Hiddink says he sees the same managerial potential in Terry that he once recognised in Southampton boss Ronald Koeman when the pair were at PSV Eindhoven.
Hiddink and Koeman are long-time acquaintances and will compete when Chelsea travel to St Mary's Stadium to take on Southampton on Saturday.
The pair formed a key partnership as manager and player to help win PSV's only European Cup in 1988, but found their relationship strained in 2014 when Hiddink beat Koeman to the job of leading the Netherlands national team on their ill-fated Euro 2016 qualification campaign.
Koeman has since bolstered his managerial reputation in charge of Southampton and Hiddink admits he appreciated his countryman's natural leadership qualities early in his distinguished playing career.
"It's easy to say now but I didn't have any doubts," Hiddink said when asked about Koeman's managerial potential. "At that time [at PSV] in 1986 we tried to establish a team of good players with personalities. I am always of the opinion that as a manager once the game is going on has limited power. I was looking always to the spine of the team.
"He was one of those guys in the spine who was one of the leaders. You could talk to him about what had to be executed on the pitch, and you could notice already at that young age that he would have the possibility to go into the management business.
"He has been around -- with clubs in Holland, in the south of Europe. He's been around not that long but some years already. He is showing to be a very good and stable manager. And he has the age [on his side]. You never know how a career can go but he's showing stability."
Asked if he saw similar qualities in players in his Chelsea squad, Hiddink added: "Of course. Terry has proven it already for many years and I must say [Branislav] Ivanovic is doing the same -- many years a leader. This club has those [characters] also."
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.