There’s something inevitable about the way John Terry’s season is shaping up. He remains immensely popular at Stamford Bridge, with every misdemeanor reinforcing his status among the rank and file. The banner, “JT – Captain, Leader, Legend”, adorns the Matthew Harding Stand at the Bridge at every game and mention of his name is always greeted with the loudest cheer.

He’s a thick-skinned lad, hence the way the court cases, the abuse and the accusations had little impact on his performances. Quite naturally, his displays have been less impressive in the past year or so, and his effectiveness has been questioned, but the Chelsea fans love “JT – CLL” as one of their own. Time is eroding his ability, but he still represents the best option Chelsea have at the back. David Luiz, for all his mid-1970s hair and posturing, is not the answer judging by his recent outings.

Terry’s time may soon be coming to an end, however much the Chelsea faithful will deny it. His return to the team against Liverpool was greeted hysterically, especially in light of recent defensive displays by his team-mates, and his goal – classic English centre half stuff – was story-book material. But then the injury, a nasty, blood-curdling challenge that had an awful soundtrack, resulted in Terry being stretchered off. It looked bad and for Terry to scream out in pain, it must have been.

The question is, how long will Terry be out? If it’s a long-time, the Chelsea defence will have had time to bed-in without their talismanic and influential leader. He may have to fight to get back into the team and with “Captain, Legend, Leader” approaching 32, that cannot be guaranteed.

There are already reports that other clubs are interested in taking Terry on – Valencia, for one. With all the baggage he has, Chelsea may just decide it is time to let him move on. The Stamford Bridge crowd will weep, but they, too, will find new heroes. The banner will live on, though…..