Terry plays 45 minutes for Chelsea Under-21s

The 32-year-old featured alongside the club's youngsters as they beat local rivals Fulham on Thursday and is nearing a return to first-team action with the Blues

Chelsea captain John Terry made a return to action by featuring for the club's Under-21 side against Fulham on Thursday night.

The 32-year-old played for 45 minutes as the Blues beat their local rivals 2-0 thanks to goals from Islam Feruz and Lewis Baker.

Terry has been out of action since straining his knee ligaments in a collision with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez during a Premier League clash back in November.

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Earlier this week, interim boss Rafael Benitez expressed hope that the centre-back might make a return in time for Saturday's meeting with Stoke.

He told reporters: "It depends on his reaction. Obviously Thursday will be a different kind of game but we will see how he feels.

"If he can feel okay and train the day after, at least we can start considering him as an option."