Chelsea and England defender Ashley Cole has been ruled out for around three months after suffering a broken left ankle in the 2-1 defeat at Everton on Wednesday evening.
The 29-year-old left-back had to be replaced shortly before the hour mark at Goodison Park, having been injured making a block tackle on Landon Donovan.
A brief statement on the club's official website confirmed: "Ashley Cole suffered a fracture to his left ankle in last night's game against Everton and is expected to be out of action for approximately three months."
Blues assistant manager Ray Wilkins had admitted straight after the game that his club feared that Cole had suffered major damage.
He said:"He has taken quite a nasty knock.
"It wasn't a foul, but it was a very strong challenge and he was slightly off balance.
"He has got a slight problem with his ankle, but we will get back to Cobham and assess the situation."