Chelsea fans desperate to find out the extent of Didier Drogba's ankle injury have potentially been dealt a massive blow by Marca, who think the Blues legend could be out for between four and six months.
Drogba limped out of last night's friendly with Ferencvaros after falling awkwardly in the penalty area, eventually forced off following failed attempts to continue.
The Ivory Coast star attempted to downplay fears he'll face a prolonged spell on the sidelines, but if Marca's report has even the slightest hint of truth to it Chelsea will be without an experienced figure for a significant portion of the campaign.
Anxious wait for news
The 36-year-old was optimistic that he would make a swift recover and wouldn't see his second spell at Stamford Bridge hampered straight after the final whistle, despite lasting only 28 minutes.
Drogba told the club's official website: "I twisted my ankle and I couldn’t continue.
"In the next few days we are going to do some treatment and I hope everything will be better."
Marca's report looks premature to the least, but could force Jose Mourinho back into the transfer market for quality cover in attack before the transfer window slams shut if it proves to be correct.
Torres toiling as cover for Costa
Mourinho decided to grant Drogba an emotional return to Stamford Bridge to provide much-needed cover for £32m summer signing Diego Costa, particularly after decided that Romelu Lukaku didn't figure in his first-team plans.
Lukaku's £25m move to Everton left Chelsea with three strikers fighting for a starting spot heading into the new campaign, but Fernando Torres has struggled in pre-season and at the moment the Blues look heavily reliant on Costa to start firing immediately.
Who could Mourinho target
There's no question that Drogba's second spell at Chelsea is shortlived and with a view to a future coaching role, so even if scans give the veteran a clean bill of health Mourinho must still be looking for a new striker in the long-term.
Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao are hugely expensive options that could be snared if Chelsea pay a premium, but new speculation over those feared forwards will have to wait until the Blues release official word on Drogba's health.