Posted on: Mon 12 Feb 2007

Overjoyed to be on the pitch and thankful to return to a side still in the championship race as it enters the home straight. Those were John Terry's emotions after the Middlesbrough game.


Nine league games passed by without the skipper in the starting line-up. A lot could have changed in that time. In reality, Chelsea are just one point further behind Man United than when Terry's absence began.


'I felt fit, no cramping, nothing like that, and it was great to come back after almost eight weeks out into a game we won 3-0,' he said after Saturday's victory.


Terry played the full 90 minutes having last weekend been given the final five at Charlton. He had regained full power in a calf muscle affected by nerve bruising that was related to his original back problem.


'For four or five years I have not had a serious injury like that and to have the operation was a last resort. I was expecting a quicker return but the nerve seemed to take a little bit longer.


'It has been a little bit easier watching from the sidelines the last few games when the lads out there have been performing and getting results.


'Now I am delighted to be back involved just as the title race really kicks in. We are turning the last corner and it is the two of us really battling it out now.


'We need to put pressure on. Man United keep winning but sooner or later they are going to drop points and we need to worry about ourselves. There is no point looking to them and dropping points ourselves.


'They have got key players playing very well but we have got Arjen Robben back, Petr Cech back and Joe Cole is on his way back. We are getting big players back.


'Look at us last season,' Terry points out. 'Towards the end we dropped a few points and Man United closed the gap a little. Now we can hope for similar.'