Chelsea are likely to be without Ben Chilwell until December at the earliest due to a hamstring injury.
The left-back had to leave the pitch late in Chelsea's 1-0 win at home to Brighton & Hove Albion in the third round of the Carabao Cup last Wednesday after pulling up in discomfort.
Mauricio Pochettino confirmed in a press conference ahead of Monday's 2-0 victory at Fulham that Chilwell's problem was 'bad news' though didn't put a timeline on his recovery.
The first reported that Chilwell is expected to miss at least the next two months of action because of the issue, with sources further confirming to that the 26-year-old could even be sidelined until the New Year if his rehabilitation does not go to plan.
Taking to Instagram in response, Chilwell said: «Can't catch a break. Believe me, I am more frustrated than you guys. All I can do now is help the team as best I can from the sidelines, until I can get back to giving everything for the club on the pitch again. Ups and downs but that's life.
»Just focused on getting this club back where it deserves to be. Thank you as always for the love, Chels fans."
In Chilwell's absence this season, Pochettino has used Levi Colwill — a centre-back by trade — at left-back.
For their wins against Brighton and Fulham, natural left-back Marc Cucurella played on the right instead in the absence of Malo Gusto and club captain Reece James, the latter of whom has also struggled with injuries. Ian Maatsen is ordinarily a left-back but has played on the wing and in midfield instead under Pochettino.
Chilwell has spent part of this season playing as a left winger too, with Pochettino insisting he understands the movement required to start higher up the pitch.
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