Chelsea defender Reece James is expected to miss up to a month with a recurrence of a knee injury.
The right-back was forced to miss the World Cup after initially sustaining an injury in a Champions League fixture in October.
Although the 23-year-old was frustrated to miss representing England in Qatar, he was able to remain patient with his recovery in a bid to return to action against Bournemouth on Tuesday evening.
James achieved that target, impressing during a dominant first-half performance from the Blues, but the academy graduate was forced to be withdrawn early in the second half.
While James was able to walk off the pitch unaided, James was visibly disappointed with his latest fitness setback as he made his way down the tunnel.
After the game, head coach Graham Potter admitted that he would ‘keep his fingers crossed’ that the injury was less severe than feared and anticipated by some.
The report says that James underwent a scan on the injury on Wednesday morning where it was subsequently revealed that he would be missing for three to four weeks.
In the hours that followed, Chelsea confirmed in a statement that one of their key players is expected to spend that length of period on the sidelines.
On social media, James revealed his frustration as he begins yet another period of rehabilitation.
As it stands, James is in line to miss six matches for Chelsea, three of which are against Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League and EFL Cup.
Chelsea also meet Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Day and have two two London derbies with Fulham and Crystal Palace respectively.
Cesar Azpilicueta is currently in line to deputise for James at right-back or right wing-back, but Chelsea have also been linked with additions during the January transfer window.
The Premier League giants are allegedly giving consideration to making a formal approach for Celtic’s Josip Juranovic, who is not short of admirers after his performances for Croatia during the World Cup.