John Terry returned to training yesterday but is still a doubt for tomorrow’s Barclays Premier League clash at Aston Villa due to a back problem.
Terry sustained the injury on international duty with England and was forced to withdraw from the squad which drew 0-0 with Montenegro in Tuesday’s Euro 2012 qualifier at Wembley.
A final decision on the former England captain’s participation at Villa Park will be taken after training today.
Dutch centre-half Jeffrey Bruma, who withdrew from midweek action with the Holland Under-21 side due to a tight hamstring, also took part in training yesterday and could be in contention.
If Terry is ruled out it would leave Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti with a defensive headache against Villa.
The circumstances could prompt first-team recalls for Jose Bosingwa and Paulo Ferreira.
Right-back Bosingwa has not played since the defeat at Villa last October after sustaining a knee injury that later required surgery.
Ancelotti could move Michael Essien or Ferreira alongside Branislav Ivanovic in the heart of the defence, with Bosingwa at right-back.
Ferriera is ready for the challenge as Chelsea, who should welcome back England midfielder Frank Lampard after a groin strain, look to maintain their four-point lead at the top of the Premier League standings.
The Portuguese defender is back to full fitness after shaking off his own problems with a cruciate knee injury last term.
“Last season I didn’t play much but the games I had I tried to give everything and I finished the season well,” the 31-year-old said.
“This season I had a good pre-season because last season I was recovering from the knee operation.
“This season I am enjoying it a lot, working hard and always ready to play if the manager wants. I’ve had chances to play and given 100% and tried to help the team.
“The cruciate is not an easy injury, it’s hard to come back at 100%. You have in your mind that you can get hurt. It takes a bit of time and you need to be strong to make sure you go into challenges and don’t get hurt.
“After that difficulty I felt well and got a few consecutive matches where I was feeling much more confident.
“I don’t know what will happen, let’s see. I want to keep going as long as I can. I have to work hard and not have any more injury problems, because when you reach an age where you start having injuries it’s hard, but you need to play games.
“When you are young if you don’t play for a while you are still fresh, but as you get older it’s more difficult to come back in.”