Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba has been forced to endure a groin operation and looks set to sit out the start of the new Premier League season.
The 32-year-old will not return to training for "approximately three weeks" so seems certain to miss the first game of the campaign against West Brom at Stamford Bridge.
A statement issued on the club's official website read:"Didier Drogba successfully underwent minimally invasive surgery yesterday (Friday) on the groin injury that had troubled him for some of last season.
"The decision to perform the procedure after his return from the World Cup was made to optimise his rehabilitation and he is expected to return to full training in approximately three weeks."
Drogba will also miss the Community Shield clash against Manchester United at Wembley on August 8.
The prolific striker joins Petr Cech and Alex on the Chelsea sidelines.
Alex has a thigh injury while Cech is struggling with a calf problem and both players look set to be out of action for a month.