Guus Hiddink has revealed that Paulo Ferreira will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Ferreira damaged his anterior cruciate ligament on Thursday and will play no further part in Chelsea's quest for silverware.
The news will come as a blow to Blues boss Hiddink even though Ferreira has not been a regular starter since the arrival of Jose Bosingwa in the summer.
Bosingwa has kept his Portuguese compatriot and fellow right-back out of the side but Ferreira's experience and versatility will be missed during the run-in.
Ferreira, who joined Chelsea from Porto in 2004, is the third Chelsea player to suffer such a serious knee injury this season.
Joe Cole is also out for the remainder of the current campaign, but Michael Essien is poised to make a first-team comeback after six months on the sidelines.
The Ghanaian midfielder has been included in Hiddink's squad for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against Coventry.