John Terry could make Chelsea return against Stoke City

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez says captain John Terry could be in the squad for Saturday's trip to Stoke.

The 32-year-old has not featured for the Blues since the 1-1 draw with Liverpool on 11 November, when he suffered a knee injury in a collision with Reds striker Luis Suarez.

Too early for Lampard talks - Benitez

The centre-back is due to line-up for Chelsea's Under-21 side when they meet Fulham on Thursday.

"If he feels OK, at least we can start considering him," said Benitez.

"It depends on his reaction [after the Under-21 game]. Obviously Thursday will be a different kind of game but we will see how he feels."

Terry had initially been expected to miss three weeks of action, but is only closing in on a return after two months on the sidelines.

In that time, Chelsea have won only four Premier League matches, however, they still lie fourth in the Premier League, one point behind third-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.

Chelsea's next three fixtures

  • Chelsea v Swansea (League Cup)
  • Stoke v Chelsea (Premier League)
  • Chelsea v Southampton (Premier League)

Benitez added: "The good thing he is now training so now he can carry on. We will see how he feels on Thursday and hopefully he can play more minutes in the short term so we will see.

"At least that is a positive thing because before he was just doing the warm-up. Now he is training and can play so I think we are obviously closer."