Chelsea captain John Terry will miss Tuesday's Champions League tie at Napoli amid reports he could be out for two months with an ongoing knee problem.
Chelsea were hoping to have Terry back for the daunting trip to the Stadio San Paolo and the centre-back pushed himself through a pre-match training session on Monday, despite clearly struggling.
According to the Daily Mirror, Terry woke in agony at the team hotel as his knee problem worsened overnight, instantly ruling him out of contention for a game that could define manager Andre Villas-Boas' reign.
Chelsea have failed to keep a clean sheet in Terry's absence and needed a defensive boost as they prepare to face Napoli's highly-rated attacking trio of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Marek Hamsik and Edinson Cavani.
Terry has missed the last four games after being forced to give way to the knee injury he sustained when he collided with the post making a goalline clearance in the FA Cup win over Portsmouth on January 8.
It was hoped that rest and recuperation would cure the problem of bruising on the bone, which Terry had initially played through, but the defender will now undergo what was described as a "small procedure" by club medics when Chelsea return to London.