Chelsea's personnel problems continue to mount, as The Daily Mail claims that Frank Lampard could be out of action until the New Year.
On Thursday the midfielder became the latest of several stars to withdraw from the England squad ahead of this weekend's friendly against Brazil, after tearing a thigh muscle in training.
Initial reports indicated that the problem was only minor, but now there are fears that the Blues could be without their talismanic middle-man for up to seven weeks.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti recently expressed concern that his key players could become burnt out before the business end of the season rolls around.
Lampard has already played 58 official games for club and country this calendar year, and his Italian boss is determined to make sure the 31-year-old is fully fit before he rejoins the fray.
The Stamford Bridge outfit are already without star wing-backs Ashley Cole and Jose Bosingwa, the latter expected to miss three months after undergoing knee surgery.
The current Premier League leaders will also lose the likes of Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Salomon Kalou and John Obi Mikel when the Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in January.
Mick Maguire, Goal.com UK