Terry made a 45-minute appearance against Fulham’s under-21s at Chelsea’s training ground on Thursday, in his first competitive appearance since damaging knee ligaments in a game against Liverpool on November 11.
Interim manager Rafael Benitez confirmed that his captain would return to the squad for the trip to Stoke, but said that the 32-year-old would not start the game. “He played yesterday. He was OK. He has been training today. He is in the squad,” Benitez said.
Speaking on Thursday, Terry said he had been encouraged by his performance in the under-21s match. “I have come through all right,” Terry told Chelsea TV.
“Initially I was going to play between 30 and 45 (minutes), so I managed to get through the first half and the knee feels totally fine, which is the main thing. It has been a frustrating two months, really,” he added.
The European champions go into the game in fourth place, 14 points behind leaders Manchester United and seven points below second-place Manchester City but with a game in hand.
Stoke City vs Chelsea
Reading vs West Bromwich
Sunderland vs West Ham
Norwich vs Newcastle United
Fulham vs Wigan Athletic
Everton vs Swansea City
Aston Villa vs Southampton