Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is anxiously awaiting news on an knee injury picked up by Ramires against Manchester City on Sunday, with legitimate fears that the Brazilian midfielder could be facing a long spell on the sidelines.
Ramires hobbled out of the 1-1 draw in the 63rd minute and left the Etihad in some discomfort after the showdown between title contenders, giving Chelsea medical staff a busy start to the week as they look to determine the extent of the problem.
Chelsea medical director Paco Biosca is expected to report back on Ramires to Mourinho this morning, but The Times believes the early prognosis is not good and could leave the Blues without a key man for some time.
First major injury problem of Chelsea's season
In truth Chelsea have enjoyed a relatively clean bill of health on the injury front so far this season, with perhaps only persistent worries over strike star Diego Costa in the back of Mourinho's mind during a strong start to the campaign.
Losing Ramires for any length of time would definitely be a blow for the Blues though, with the 27-year-old an important option for Mourinho, particularly in the big matches.
Mourinho's decision to pick Ramires for the City game is proof of that, with the Selecao star's stamina and dynamism helping to provide important steel alongside Nemanja Matic when Chelsea go up against rivals with physically imposing midfield options at their disposal.
Mourinho must be desperate for positive news
Using Ramires allows Chelsea to switch from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 seamlessly, although it has to be said that Mourinho has an enormously talented squad that can help to cover for his absence in the short-term.
After featuring at the weekend Ramires was never likely to feature in tomorrow night's Capital One Cup tie against Bolton Wanderers, so news on the injury front won't be an immediate concern at this stage.
Biosca's diagnosis may have an impact on another top European coach though, with Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti thought to be weighing up a £25m for one of his former Chelsea favourites.
Ancelotti will likely see any offer for Ramires rebuffed and any lengthy period on the treatment table won't help secure his top transfer priority, with more news on a likely return to action due in the next 24 hours.
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