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By ESPN Staff
Feb 25, 2007

Injured Terry returns to celebrate with team

Jose Mourinho admitted his immediate thoughts flashed back to Petr Cech's skull fracture when he saw skipper John Terry go down after suffering a sickening blow to the head at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Terry was knocked unconscious and needed oxygen as he left the field an hour into Chelsea's Carling Cup final win over Arsenal after he was caught flush in the face by Abou Diaby's boot as the pair challenged for a loose ball in the Gunners' box.

Happily, the Blues captain was able to return to the stadium after a hospital check-up to join in the victory celebrations.

He showed no ill effects from the earlier incident as he hugged Arsenal and England physio Gary Lewin, who was first on the scene.

However, for a worrying moment, Mourinho admitted thoughts of the horror injury Cech suffered at Reading, on the same day reserve goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini was also knocked out, instantly sprang to mind as medical teams from both clubs rushed to treat the stricken England captain.

'Sometimes in football, dramatic things happen,' he said.

'This season we have already had the situations with Petr Cech and Carlo Cudicini and the negative thoughts come directly to your mind.

'The first point is 'Is he safe? Is the man fine?'

'John's wife, his little babies are here, so the most important thing is that the man is safe. Once we know he is okay, then we can think about the football.'

Ironically, Terry was only playing because he had shrugged off an ankle injury suffered at Porto on Wednesday which was supposed to rule him out for at least a week.

Although Mourinho did not see what happened, he apportioned no blame to Diaby, who was in tears as Terry was put on a stretcher, having kicked the defender with such force he jarred an ankle and was eventually substituted himself.

'John risked himself and the Arsenal player was trying to protect his goal,' said Mourinho. 'I have no criticism about that.

'I was with the fourth official, who was in direct communication with (referee) Howard Webb, so I knew everything.

'The Arsenal medical department was already there because they had been treating an injury close to the situation, so by the time our people got there, everything was under control.'

Mourinho will now wait to discover whether Terry will be able to play in next Saturday's crucial Premiership encounter with Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

If not, it seems certain Michael Essien will once again be asked to step into central defence, as he did for the remainder of this afternoon's contest as Chelsea's season-long injury curse continued.

'It is terrible the things that have happened to us this season,' he said.

'We are getting used to it. When you are sitting on the bench, you are waiting for something to happen.

'This morning, when the doctor didn't wake me up knocking on my room door, I was very happy. Normally he wakes me up to tell me someone is injured or ill.

'At the moment, Michael Essien cannot play 90 minutes in midfield. He has to either start in central defence or something happens during the game and he has to go there.'