(CNN) -- Chelsea captain John Terry is set to return to action quicker than originally suspected after a scan on his injured knee revealed "no significant damaage," the English Premier League giants said Monday.
Terry was stretchered off in agony in his side's 1-1 home draw with Liverpool after a collision with Uruguay star Luis Suarez.
A lengthy spell on the sidelines looked inevitable but after a scan Chelsea said his right knee injury would heal in a matter of weeks rather than months.
The former England international had returned from a four-game domestic ban for racially abusing an opponent, and made an immediate impact as he put the London club in front in the first half at Stamford Bridge Sunday.
But then came his accidental collision with Suarez, who later scored the equalizer for the visitors to put a dampener on Chelsea's title challenge.
He took to Twitter after the game to send Terry his best wishes. "Hugs to Terry, I hope it's nothing serious," he wrote.
European champion Chelsea had set the early-season pace, but now trail leaders Manchester United by three points after dropping into third place.
EPL titleholders Manchester City claimed second on Sunday with a 2-1 win at home to Tottenham, coming from behind before substitute Edin Dzeko snatched a late winner.
Chelsea's momentum was derailed following claims of racism laid against referee Mark Clattenburg after the controversial home defeat by United on October 28, which was followed by the arrest of a Chelsea fan who made an alleged monkey gesture at a United player in a cup game just days later.
Terry wasn't selected for Wednesday's Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk, where David Luiz and Gary Cahill looked shaky in defense, but the former England skipper made his mark at Stamford Bridge.
The 31-year-old scored his 50th career goal for Chelsea in the 20th minute as he lost his marker Daniel Agger at a corner and powerfully headed home at the near post from Juan Mata's delivery.
But he had to be replaced by Cahill after Suarez fell on his knee during a tackle, following a mistake by Terry that gave the ball to Steven Gerrard.
Suarez, a hate figure with opposing fans after last season's Patrice Evra racism controversy, matched Robin van Persie's EPL-leading eight goals this season when he headed home from Jamie Carragher's flick-on in the 73rd minute.
The Uruguay striker could have later ended Liverpool's run of five games without a win but was denied by keeper Petr Cech.
The draw, Liverpool's sixth in 11 league matches, left Brendan Rogers' team in 13th place -- 15 points behind bitter rivals United.
Manchester City moved to within two points of Alex Ferguson's United team, who came from two goals down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 on Saturday.
The pressure on manager Roberto Mancini appeared to be increasing when England goalkeeper Joe Hart failed to keep out a header from Tottenham defender Steven Caulker in the 21st minute.
But last season's top scorer Sergio Aguero capitalized on poor defending to level in the 66th minute and Dzeko once again proved his worth off the bench with an 88th-minute winner.
It was the Bosnia striker's sixth league goal this season, and five have come as a sub.
"The goals are my message. That's the only thing," Dzeko said after the match.
"Again from a free-kick we conceded a goal as stupid as against Arsenal. We have to improve there. But after goal we were the better team for the 90 minutes and in the end we deserved it. Even when we are losing we come back."
City also came from behind in midweek to draw 2-2 with Ajax in a result that all but ended hopes of qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League.
Newcastle salvaged a 2-2 draw against Bruges in the second-tier Europa League on Thursday, but could not repeat the trick against West Ham.
Kevin Nolan scored the only goal against his former team, giving visiting manager Sam Allardyce victory against the club that sacked him in 2008.
The result lifted West Ham up to sixth above Tottenham, while Newcastle stayed 10th.