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By ESPN Staff
Dec 29, 2006

Terry back at training; Zheng signs deal with Charlton

LONDON -- England and Chelsea captain John Terry returned to training Friday, one day after back surgery.

The central defender jogged at Chelsea's Cobham training ground in London, the club said. Terry has missed the Blues' last four games, and Chelsea has given up six goals.

Terry was expected to play again this season but a return in January was considered unlikely. Team doctor Bryan English declined to say when Terry would play next.

"The instructions from the surgeon were to run the day after surgery. That is great for us and great for John," English said. Chelsea is four points behind league leader Manchester United.

Chinese star Zheng headed to Premier League
LONDON -- China captain Zheng Zhi signed a loan deal with Charlton on Friday.

The 26-year-old defender is new manager Alan Pardew's first signing since taking over the 19th-place Premier League club on Sunday.

He will become the third Chinese player to play in the Premier League after Manchester City defender Sun Jihai and Sheffield United midfielder Li Tie.

Zheng could move permanently at the end of the season.

Zheng scored 21 goals for Chinese champion Shandong Luneng in 2006. The Chinese soccer player of the year in 2003 and '06 originally had a trial at The Valley last month under former coach Les Reed.

France
PARIS -- Aime Jacquet, the former soccer coach who led France's national selection to victory in the 1998 World Cup, stepped down Friday from his post as French soccer's technical director.

Jacquet was appointed to the top job in 1998, following his successful four-year stint at the head of the national team. As coach, he led "Les Bleus," who failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup, to a 30-game winning streak and a surprise win over Brazil in the World Cup final in 1998.

Jacquet is credited with having discovered three-time FIFA World Player of the Year, Zinedine Zidane.

Jacquet began as a midfielder for French clubs Saint-Etienne and Lyon before coaching for Lyon and Bordeaux.

Assistant technical director Jean-Pierre Morlans will take over until a replacement is found.