Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger seems unlikely to return within the next month following surgery on a groin problem.
Rudiger this week saw a consultant who advised that an operation would be the best course of action.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday afternoon, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said the German is likely to be out for around three more weeks.
However, Lampard also suggested that Rudiger would then need more time before he is ready to return to first-team action.
“He had an operation and he’s going to be out probably for around three weeks,” Lampard explained.
“Then we’ll have to see where the match fitness comes in, because it’s a long time Toni’s been out now.”
Nevertheless, Lampard is pleased that Rudiger’s injury appears to have finally been addressed.
The centre-back, previously troubled by a knee problem, has played only once this season and Chelsea have been trying to get him fit for several weeks.
“It was nice to get something definitive about it. We’ve been trying to find a solution,” Lampard said.
“Toni’s been having some issues and it’s not easy for a player in that position.
“Hopefully in three weeks’ time we’ll be in a lot better place.”