CHELSEA have been dealt a massive injury blow as Gary Cahill was taken off in the first-half against Leicester after picking up a hamstring injury.
The Blues skipper, 32, had replaced Andreas Christensen in the starting XI, only to limp off the pitch after just half an hour.
The young Dane was roped into action earlier than planned to replace his skipper, as Cahill now faces the possibility of missing the Champions League clash with Barcelona.
The England defender could miss around four to six weeks of action, should it turn out to be a pulled hamstring.
That would mean Cahill would be ruled out of the FA Cup third-round replay against Norwich and the Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg against Arsenal.
On top of that, the veteran defender would miss Premier League clashes with Brighton, Bournemouth, Watford and West Brom – as well as the first-leg of the Barcelona clash at Stamford Bridge.
Cahill has played 30 times for club and country this season, despite slipping down the pecking order under Antonio Conte somewhat.
In fact, some were surprised to see Cahill in the starting XI at the expense of the in-form Christensen.
Interestingly, Conte's freeze-out of David Luiz continued, with the Brazilian star still unable to make it to the pitch, despite the injury.
Luiz, 30, last played in the FA Cup draw with Norwich last week, but prior to that had played just twice since October 28 – both in the Champions League.
The Brazilian former Paris Saint-Germain star hasn't played in the Premier League since October's away win against Bournemouth.
Last month, Blues boss Conte claimed injury was the only thing keeping Luiz out of the team.
However, as the weeks roll on, it's obvious the centre-back is not a part of his long-term future and may even be sold this month.
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