Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has been ruled out for 10 weeks after injuring his knee in training.
Courtois had returned to Blues training fully fit after international duty with Belgium – only to limp out of the first training session at Cobham on Wednesday.
The Belgian travelled to Spain on Thursday to undergo minor surgery on his knee, but he was found to have a torn meniscus – an injury that needs eight to 14 weeks to heal.
The nature of the problem means an individual has to simply wait for the meniscus to recover naturally.
Should the 23-year old need 10 weeks to recover, he will miss a minimum of 13 games – four of which are Champions League group games. Courtois will also sit out tough league matches against Arsenal, Newcastle, West Ham and Liverpool.
Provided the injury heals well, Courtois could be fit to face Norwich on November 21st.
In the meantime, Chelsea will rely on Asmir Begovic, who has already stepped in to cover Courtois this summer after the latter was sent off against Swansea on the opening day.