Chelsea captain Terry to have knee surgery

Chelsea captain John Terry will undergo knee surgery and be out

for up to six weeks, dealing a further blow to the team’s faltering

season but relieving England of a potential selection headache.

Terry has not played for more than three weeks and Chelsea’s

medical team decided on Tuesday that the defender must have an

operation on his right knee.

The center back trained Monday in Italy on the eve of Chelsea’s

Champions League match against Napoli but woke up in discomfort a

day later.

”John has tried hard to be ready for tonight’s game but it was

clear after training last night that it was not going to be

possible,” Chelsea said in a statement. ”He will undergo an

exploratory arthroscopy in the next day or so, after which the

club’s medical team will be better placed to advise on a

prognosis.”

Coach Andre Villas-Boas said Terry will be out for up to six

weeks.

The injury saves interim England coach Stuart Pearce from having

to decide whether to select Terry and Rio Ferdinand in the squad

for next Wednesday’s friendly against the Netherlands.

Terry was stripped of the England captaincy earlier this month

due to his upcoming trial for allegedly racially abusing

Ferdinand’s brother, Queens Park Rangers defender Anton

Ferdinand.

Fabio Capello quit as England coach after the Football

Association stripped Terry of the captaincy without consulting the

Italian.

Terry’s absence will be less of a blow for England than Chelsea,

which hasn’t won a game since he last played on Jan. 28 against

QPR. Chelsea has slipped to fifth in the Premier League and drew

against Birmingham in the fifth round of the FA Cup on

Saturday.

The 31-year-old Terry has been troubled by the knee injury since

colliding with a post last month in the FA Cup against

Portsmouth.