Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel could miss the remainder of the Premier League season after suffering a knee injury in the defeat by Tottenham.
The Nigeria international limped out of the action in the 33rd minute at White Hart Lane with scans revealing he had suffered a torn meniscus.
Mikel is certain to miss Sunday's home clash with Stoke and will struggle to recover in time to feature in the crucial clash at Liverpool and the season finale at home to Wigan on 9th May.
The news will come as a blow to Blues coach Carlo Ancelotti who is battling to preserve the club's slender one-point advantage over Manchester United.
Michael Ballack stepped off the bench to replace Mikel at the weekend and the veteran Germany international could get the nod against the Potters.
Mikel will not require surgery to cure the problem and will be hoping to have recovered in time for the FA Cup final against Portsmouth on 15th May.
"It's a little tear in the knee meniscus," Mikel told kickoffnigeria.com.
"I won't play this weekend, and the doctors say it will take about three weeks to heal, although there will be no surgery."