Terry has spent most of the season watching from the sidelines as Conte has relied almost exclusively on the same back three since October.
The Chelsea captain has spent his entire career at the club and started just his third game this year against Wolves in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Terry has played every minute of Chelsea’s FA Cup campaign so far and Conte says that can continue all the way to the final if the centre-back keeps playing well.
‘JT deserved to play against Wolves and he played very well,’ said Conte.
FA Cup Quarter-Final Ties
To be played between March 10 and 13
Chelsea vs Manchester United
Middlesbrough vs Huddersfield/Manchester City
Tottenham vs Millwall
Sutton United/Arsenal vs Lincoln City
‘I’m very happy for him. He is a very important player, he is my captain, and is important on and off their pitch.
‘He is helping me a lot and I’m very pleased to have him in my squad and also to know this type of person.
‘Did I pick him on merit and not sentiment?
‘Yeah for sure, but I want to be very clear: every player can play if they deserve it.
‘I will be pleased to give them the opportunity, but it won’t be on sentiment.’
Terry has made almost 700 appearances for his club in a career that has seen him lift five FA Cups as well as collecting four Premier League winners medal.
Conte’s praise could pave the way for Terry to keep his place in the quarter-final clash with Manchester United next month.