Kurt Zouma faces at least six months on the sidelines with the knee injury he suffered during Chelsea’s draw against Manchester United.
The Blues defender was stretchered off in the second half of the match at Stamford Bridge and an MRI scan has revealed he sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage.
It means Zouma, 21, will miss the rest of the campaign and probably the start of next season.
He had recently established himself as a first-choice centre-back at Chelsea, keeping out Gary Cahill.
Zouma posted on Twitter after news of his injury was confirmed, pledging to “come back stronger”.
He is due to undergo surgery in the next 48 hours.
Scan today has shown I injured my ACL. I will have surgery this week & will come back stronger. Thank you everyone for all the messages 🙏🏻🙏🏻
— Kurt Zouma (@KurtZouma) February 8, 2016