Marco van Ginkel is on the road to recovery after undergoing surgery on a potentially season-ending knee injury.
The Dutchman, who only arrived at Stamford Bridge over the summer from Vitesse Arnhem, tore his anterior cruciate knee ligament in Chelsea's Capital One cup tie against Swindon on Tuesday.
He is expected to be out of action for around six months - a period significantly shorter than had initially been suggested when his chances of making next summer's World Cup had been put in doubt.
'Just had my operation, but keep smiling and I will come back. Never give up and be strong,' he told Chelseafc.com from his hospital bed.
After the match on Tuesday, which Chelsea won 2-0 thanks to goals from Fernando Torres and Ramires, who is in a battle to be fit in time for the Blues' showdown against Tottenham tomorrow having picked up an injury against the Robins, Chelsea assistant boss Steve Holland said he feared Van Ginkel was looking at a lengthy injury lay-off.
"It’s too early to say, but it doesn’t look good for Marco," he said.
‘We’ll have to wait for the results of the scan, but we have at least two casualties from this evening.’
Tensions have been rising ahead of Chelsea's trip to White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon, with Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas saying his relationship with former mentor Jose Mourinho broke down some time ago.
I don't lose any sleep," he said.
"We had a great personal and professional relationship before. We don't have that now."
Villas-Boas followed in the footsteps of Mourinho by managing both Porto and Chelsea, but his time in charge at Stamford Bridge was short-lived.
"Our break-up point was because I was full of ambition to give him something extra and I wanted further involvement from the job I was doing at that time," said Villas-Boas, who worked under Mourinho at Chelsea and Inter Milan.
"I felt I could give him much more. But he didn't feel the need for somebody near to him or in another position as an assistant, and because of that it was decided that it was time, after Inter Milan, to continue our careers apart."
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