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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed John Terry will miss the London derby against Arsenal on Saturday (24 September) because of injury. The 35-year-old captain has been sidelined with a an ankle problem since 11 September and is still not available for selection, despite making a steady recovery.
Terry last took the field for Chelsea's 2-2 draw against Swansea City earlier this month, with new signing David Luiz replacing him in the Blues line-up. Conte confirmed that despite Terry's eagerness to play in the derby, he has not recovered sufficiently from his injury.
"John didn't recover and is injured," the Chelsea boss explained, according to The Mirror. "He is working, but he didn't recover for the game against Arsenal. I don't know [when he will be back]. It's important what the player feels."
Conte also revealed Kurt Zouma may be available for selection after the upcoming international break following the anterior cruciate ligament injury he sustained in February. The Italian said Zouma is close to returning to first-team training and is looking forward to working with the defender.
"I hope to see him [Zouma] in the training session next week. He's in a good shape, I hope to see him next week to start counting on him to be in the team," the Chelsea boss explained. "Maybe [he can play after the international break]. there's a possibility, probably, we'll wait one week more."
Meanwhile, Conte paid tribute to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who is this week celebrating 20 years since he was first introduced as the new manager of the club. Conte admitted that in the modern climate of professional sports, it is incredible that Wenger has been at Arsenal for so long.
"It's fantastic if somebody is able to stay for 20 years in one club," Conte said of the Arsenal boss. "I think that there is satisfaction in both sides. Sometimes I think that it's important for the manager to know that he doesn't always have to win, lose or draw."