Chelsea manager Antonio Conte confirmed John Terry will miss his side's Premier League clash against Arsenal on Saturday after the skipper failed to recover from an ankle injury.
The 35-year-old suffered the injury during Chelsea's 2-2 draw against Swansea City on 11 September. Initial assessment had suggested that Terry would be back around this time but the Italian maintained his captain is not ready for the London derby.
David Luiz, who was signed by Chelsea on the deadline day of the summer transfer window, is likely to continue playing at centre back alongside Gary Cahill at the Emirates Stadium. The Brazilian made his second debut at Stamford Bridge in the home side's 2-1 loss to Liverpool on 16 September and also featured in their 4-2 win against Leicester City in the EFL Cup third round clash on Tuesday.
"John Terry is working hard but he didn't recover for the game against Arsenal. I don't know when he will play because it is important what the player feels, and the pain he feels," Conte was quoted as saying by Chelsea's official website.
Conte also revealed that Kurt Zouma, who suffered a knee injury during a Premier League game against Manchester United in February, would be joining training from next week. He said he expected the 21-year-old Frenchman to make his first-team return after the upcoming international break in October.
"For Zouma, I hope to see him in the training sessions next week. He's in good shape and I hope to see him next week in training, to start counting on him."
Chelsea conceded two goals in each of their last two games and have kept only one clean sheet since Conte took over as manager. The Blues have been having long-standing problems with their backline. They conceded 53 goals in their last Premier League season, in which they finished a dismal 10th.
Stressing on the need to improve defensive situations, Conte said it was not just the problem of their defense when they concede goals but a collective one. He added his team needed a good game on Saturday to get back on track after the defeat to Liverpool.
"When we conceded the goals, all the team conceded the goals and not only the defenders," Chelsea manager added.
"It means we must improve and work together to improve the defensive situations. This problem was already there last season because Chelsea conceded 55  goals, and we must work a lot on this aspect because if you want to challenge for a championship, you mustn't concede so many goals.
"We know tomorrow we face a good team and for sure they will fight until the end to win the title. Arsenal has good young players with great technique and good potential and organisation. They play good football.
"This is a big game between two big rivals and it is important to play a good game after the defeat against Liverpool."