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Terry set for Blues return

John Terry is set to return to the Chelsea starting line-up for the visit of Stoke of Saturday, and make his first appearance since undergoing knee surgery.

• Terry driven to speedy recovery

Terry has been out since January, but returned to the Chelsea squad as an unused substitute for Wednesday's FA Cup win against Birmingham and appears likely to take his place in caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo's team to face Stoke at Stamford Bridge. "Yes I think JT may be involved," Di Matteo said. "He's trained and so is available for tomorrow. It's great for the team if JT is available because he is our leader and is a very important player and going forward with these games coming up.

"I'm very pleased I've had everyone available. That's great news."

Terry's last appearance for the Blues came in their 1-0 win at QPR on January 28, and he has since undergone a procedure that was expected to rule him out until April.

But the 31-year-old's recovery has exceeded expectations and he is now back in the fold to help Chelsea's push to seal a place in the Premier League top-four.

"Once I had the operation I was literally jogging about after two days, which was incredible," Terry told Chelsea TV. "I said to the physios, the way things were here, I just wanted to push myself and be involved and try to get back as quickly as possible.

"I've done that, worked really hard in the gym, been on triple sessions going back late in the evening on my own as well - which has been tough. The target for myself was always to get back and hopefully be back for the Stoke game, so this is a massive boost for me."


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