Chelsea skipper John Terry has been ruled out of next week's Club World Cup in Japan although vice-captain Frank Lampard will return to the squad for Saturday's Premier League game at Sunderland.
Terry hurt his knee in his comeback game against Liverpool last month, having served a four-match domestic ban for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.
The European champions play a Club World Cup semi-final against Mexicans Monterrey or Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea on Thursday.
"Terry will not go to Japan because the doctor has warned of inflammation and said that flying is not the best idea so he will stay here and obviously miss the Sunderland game as well," interim manager Rafael Benitez told reporters on Friday.
"The first conversation I had with him, he was quite excited because it's a new competition and a great opportunity, but after we spoke with the doctor it was decided that he would stay here."
Chelsea's third-highest all-time scorer Lampard has struggled with a calf injury all season and the midfielder has not played since October 23.
"Lampard has been training today, he's in the squad for Sunderland and if everything is fine he will go to Japan," added Benitez.
"At least we have one important player back because we need character and experience. He is a quality player, he scores goals, understands the game and is a good passer of the ball."
Third-placed Chelsea have had a rough recent patch of form and are 10 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United who meet Manchester City, in second position, on Sunday.
"We have to beat Sunderland and if we can we'll be closer to at least one of the leaders," said Benitez. "We have a [title] chance as long as we start winning games."comments