Chelsea forward Christopher Nkunku is facing up to four months on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery.
Nkunku suffered the injury during Chelsea’s friendly draw with Borussia Dortmund last week and the issue has proven worse than first feared.
The Frenchman went down in discomfort following a clash with Dortmund defender Mats Hummels and it has now been confirmed, via an official club statement, that he has ‘undergone an operation’.
Chelsea have not confirmed his length of absence as Nkunku begins a ‘rehabilitation programme with the club’s medical department’, but it is expected to sideline the summer signing for an extended period of up to four months.
Nkunku signed for Chelsea in a £52m deal from RB Leipzig and had impressed during the club’s pre-season tour of the USA, scoring three times.
His absence is a major blow for new manager Mauricio Pochettino ahead of the new season, where Chelsea kick-off their Premier League campaign against Liverpool on Sunday.