Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti may now delve into the transfer market in January after Jose Bosingwa was ruled out for three months.
The 27-year-old defender has been out since mid-October with a knee injury and will now not return until the new year.
A statement released on chelseafc.com read: "Chelsea Football Club can confirm that Jose Bosingwa underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee this week. His recovery time will be approximately three months."
Portugal international Bosingwa has made eight appearances for Chelsea this term, the most recent of which came when he was taken off in the second half of the 2-1 loss to Aston Villa on October 17.
Blues boss Ancelotti, whose side lead the Barclays Premier League by five points from Arsenal and Manchester United, was adamant he was happy with the squad following the Court of Arbitration for Sport's suspension of the FIFA transfer ban imposed over the club's recruitment of Gael Kakuta from French club Lens.
But he may now be forced into a re-think by recruiting to maintain the Blues' title charge.
Chelsea were, however, buoyed by the news that he does not need to go under the knife following a shin injury.
"Meanwhile, Ashley Cole is suffering from an aggravation of a depressed fracture of the tibia, originally picked up against Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge," the statement added.
"The injury will not require surgery."
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