LONDON - Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo confirmed on Friday that John Terry will miss today's English Premier League clash against Wigan because he doesn't want the defender to do further damage to his cracked ribs.
Di Matteo's side are engaged in a desperate struggle to catch fourth-placed Tottenham as they try to guarantee a place in next season's Champions League, but the Italian doesn't want to risk Terry against the Latics with so many crucial cup matches looming.
Terry suffered the injury during the first leg of Chelsea's Champions League quarter-final against Benfica and was forced to come off after an hour of Wednesday's return clash with the Portuguese side as he was struggling to breathe.
Di Matteo, whose side are five points behind Tottenham, acknowledged that taking another blow to the area would risk a significant period on the sidelines for the Chelsea captain, which is unthinkable given their forthcoming Champions League semi-final against Barcelona and FA Cup semi-final meeting with Spurs.
"With a rib injury, it needs time to heal. Every time you get a knock, you probably go a step back," Di Matteo said on Friday.
"We're just trying to manage the injury at the moment. We'll just have to see how quickly he can recover.
"It's one of those injuries that are difficult to deal with because there's not much you can do.
"We need to just deal with the pain level and give him a bit of time to recover."