John Terry has failed to recover from a hamstring injury and will miss Saturday's Premier League clash with Southampton, Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has confirmed.
Former England captain Terry sustained the problem in the 5-1 mauling of Newcastle United on February 13 and has missed the subsequent Champions League defeat to Paris-Saint Germain and FA Cup victory over Manchester City.
Hiddink also downplayed hope of Terry returning for Tuesday's game with Norwich City.
The Dutchman told reporters at Friday's news conference: "John Terry won't be fit, he is still undergoing treatment. Every now and then he goes in the gym and does his exercises but he is not fit.
"We need to be careful with him and this type of injury.
"When you have something in the hamstring you think as a player or a manager that it appears to be good but you must be careful and I am in favour of waiting even when everyone - including the player - says he is fit. I [prefer to] leave it three days more.
"We have Norwich on Tuesday and we will see if he is available for Stoke next weekend."
Hiddink also confirmed striker Radamel Falcao remains an absentee while Alexandre Pato, a January loan signing from Corinthians, is not fit enough to be considered for first-team duty.
"Pato is now getting the sharpness to be competitive but we have three strikers available," Hiddink added.