Gary Cahill was treated in hospital for a small kidney stone and is a major doubt for Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final, boss Antonio Conte has said, but captain John Terry is unlikely to replace him.
England defender Cahill arrived at training on Tuesday with a fever and was admitted to hospital before being released two days later after undergoing tests.
Chelsea are to meet Premier League title rivals Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday and, while Conte stated that Cahill's illness is not serious, the Italian does not envisage him being fit to play.
"This period is not a lucky period for us," he told a pre-match news conference.
"When we started to have training on Tuesday he arrived at the training ground with a bit of a fever and then we preferred our doctor to bring him in the hospital and check his condition.
"It is not a serious problem, but now Gary is getting better and improving a lot. If you asked me for tomorrow [Saturday] my answer is very difficult, very difficult.
Conte says Cahill was sent to hospital by the doctor for checks. It is not a serious problem but it will be difficult to play tomorrow. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 21, 2017
"Yes, [he had] a fever but then he had a problem, but not a serious problem but the doctor preferred him to be in the hospital and solve the problem."
With Cahill set to miss out, Chelsea have a void in their three-man defence but Terry, who announced last week that he is to leave the Blues after 19 years at the club, is not necessarily guaranteed to come in.
"This is a semi-final and in the season we tried to have in every position two options," Conte added.
"I think the right position for John when we play with three centre-backs is in the centre and the player playing there now is David Luiz.
"I have to make the best decision for the starting 11, we tried different solutions."
Conte says in every position he tries to have two options. If Terry was to play, the best position would be in the centre of the three. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 21, 2017
Conte can understand why so many fellow Premier League managers have expressed their interest in signing Terry, whose lengthy list of accolades include four league titles and a Champions League winner's medal.
"I'm not surprised about this. I am repeating in every press conference that John, in my first season, is very important, he's helping me on the pitch and off the pitch," he said.
"For us he's a good captain and the problem is that John wants to play regularly. For this reason, I think that we have to respect his decision because I was a footballer and I know when you arrive at this point of your career, and your mind and body told you continue, you feel you can continue and can play regularly.
"We have to respect his decision. If you ask me next season is it a serious loss, I think so."
|He´s looking good – Zidane thrilled with Ronaldo|
|It needs to take 30 seconds – Matic wants quicker VAR|
|Team LeBron edges Team Stephen in thrilling All-Star Game|
|McIlroy sees progress despite failing to contend at Riviera|
|Silver supports NBA players speaking out on social issues|
|Mickelson ready for Masters after third straight top-six finish|
|Gattuso: My job is to be the players´ nightmare until season´s end|
|I wasn´t good enough – Guardiola reveals Wigan rejection|
|Dillon reigns supreme with overtime win at Daytona 500|
|Bubba Watson ends drought with third Genesis Open title|
|Brazilian derby between Vitoria and Bahia abandoned after red-card frenzy|
|Anderson ends barren spell with New York Open triumph|
|It was crazy, but I like that - Zidane revels in eight-goal Betis thriller|
|Asensio credits Zidane for Madrid´s thrilling Betis comeback|
|Zidane hopeful over Marcelo hamstring injury|
|Overton replaces injured Plunkett for Blacks Caps ODI series|
|Bonaventura claims Milan can catch Inter|
|Bravo for Claudio! Guardiola to pick keeper at Wembley|
|Mourinho hoping for reinforcements at Sevilla|
|´Quick-healer´ Groves hopeful over shoulder injury|
|Real Madrid become first side to score 6,000 goals in LaLiga|
|Real Betis 3 Real Madrid 5: Asensio at the double in LaLiga classic|
|AC Milan 1 Sampdoria 0: Bonaventura makes it 10 unbeaten for Rossoneri|
|Schurrle excited to finally link up with Reus and Gotze|
|Fit-again Hughes included in England squad|
|New number one Federer revels in ´unbelievable´ week|
|Real Madrid defender Marcelo suffers hamstring injury|
|Costa fumes referees ´want to give me a card´, but Simeone plays down penalty row|
|Thiem regains Argentina Open title|
|Stoger makes Dortmund history with Gladbach win|
|Championship Review: Leeds fight back for point, Norwich & Ipswich share derby spoils|
|Racing beat La Rochelle to go second, Castres edge out Bordeaux|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Burki unbeatable as Reus returns to haunt Foals|
|FA Cup ´magic´ no surprise to Pochettino after Rochdale thriller|
|Rochdale hero Davies: This is every kid´s dream|
|Atletico Madrid will not stop in pursuit of Barcelona, promises Gameiro|
|Banks boot pays dividends for Treviso|
|Lucky 13 and second successive title for Kvitova after Muguruza classic|
|´Wrong image´ to blame for VAR confusion in Manchester United´s FA Cup win|
|Rochdale 2 Tottenham 2: Davies denies Kane in FA Cup classic|
|Rieder stretchered off as Wasps extend Chiefs´ slump|
|Atletico Madrid 2 Athletic Bilbao 0: Gameiro and Costa settle cagey clash|
|NHL commissioner Bettman condemns ´reprehensible´ Smith-Pelly abuse|
|Visser, Scott and Nel among six recalled by Scotland|
|Bhuvneshwar and Dhawan inspire India´s Wanderers win|
|Napoli set club record with another Serie A win|
|Froome disappoints in time trial as Wellens wins Ruta del Sol|
|Napoli 1 SPAL 0: Allan sends hosts top of Serie A again|
|Federer makes short work of disappointing Dimitrov|
|Allegri allays Higuain injury fears|
|Blackhawks fans ejected after racist heckling of Capitals´ Smith-Pelly|
|Allegri convinced Juve can get past Spurs|
|Sri Lanka sweep series after dominating Bangladesh|
|Everton fear ´long-term´ injury for Mangala|
|If it isn´t Madrid, it´s Paris - Hazard tires of speculation|
|Luiten claims Oman Open title|
|Torino 0 Juventus 1: Champions win derby but lose Higuain|
|Neymar exit made Barcelona stronger - Ter Stegen|
|Remove T20 cricket from international schedule - Bayliss|
|Injured Higuain forced off against Torino|
|Jesus confident of returning strong after knee injury|
|DeGale launches Twitter attack on beaten Eubank Jr|
|We had to change hotels – Ovrebo recalls fury after 2009 Chelsea-Barcelona semi-final|
|Spalletti: Inter board will decide my future|
|Munro blitz helps Black Caps progress despite defeat|
|Fabregas still wary of timeless Iniesta|
|Liverpool´s 30-goal hero Salah: There´s more to come|
|Valverde: Coutinho dropped for the good of Barcelona|
|Garcia floors Rios for ninth-round TKO|
|Ronaldo better than Neymar? No says Xavi|