Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has allegedly shot and wounded an intern at the club after "larking" around with an air rifle, according to the News of the World.
The incident happened last Sunday at the Chelsea's Cobham training ground when Cole took the .22 gun from a box, not realising it was loaded, and accidentially fired at Tom Cowan, 21, from just five feet away.
A source told the News of the World: "It's truly inconceivable that a Premier League footballer could bring a gun to the training ground.
"But Ashley pulled the rifle from a box and started larking about with it in the changing room, not realising it was loaded. It ended up pointed at Tom just five feet away.
"The gun went off with a loud pop and Tom screamed as this lead pellet hit him in the side. It went through his clothing and into his flesh."
Cowan received treatment from the Chelsea medical staff and was given two days to rest after the ordeal, which was witnessed by a dozen staff members of the club.
Police were not called and the source went on to say that Chelsea officials were concerned that "it would be a PR disaster if this became public knowledge, so the club has closed ranks over it".
''We never comment on internal matters,'' Chelsea said in response to the report.