Premier League

Di Matteo to give Terry time

Rib injury will be managed, says Chelsea boss

John Terry: Risks aggravating his rib injury if he plays again too soon

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Chelsea caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo admits John Terry risks damaging his cracked ribs every time he takes to the field.

Di Matteo confirmed Terry would miss Saturday's Premier League game against Wigan as the Blues look to manage the injury with some big games ahead.

Terry picked up the problem in last Tuesday's quarter-final first leg against Benfica in Lisbon and was able to battle through that game as well as the full 90 minutes of Saturday's win at Aston Villa.

But the Chelsea captain was forced to succumb to the injury an hour into Chelsea's second-leg victory against the Portuguese side at Stamford Bridge as he was suffering breathing difficulties.

And Di Matteo has acknowledged it is dangerous for Terry to play on through his recovery period.

"With a rib injury, it needs time to heal," he said.

"Every time you get a knock, you probably go a step back.

"We're just trying to manage the injury at the moment. We'll just have to see how quickly he can recover.

Difficult

"It's one of those injuries that are difficult to deal with because there's not much you can do. It's in a position where it's difficult to make it better.

"We need to just deal with the pain level and give him a bit of time to recover."

Terry had vowed to play through the pain but it seems Di Matteo sees that as an unnecessary risk ahead of a home game with relegation strugglers Wigan.

Chelsea play Fulham on Monday and then face Tottenham in an FA Cup semi-final before the monumental challenge of trying to shut out Barcelona in the Champions League.

It remains to be seen whether the Chelsea boss will continue to take a cautious approach with so much at stake.

Di Matteo added: "As with all the players, we always assess the risk factor.

"Sometimes, you can play with a little pain, but if the pain is too much then it is not worth it, because you won't be able to perform at the best level."