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."
|Whitewash in Australia´s sights as England face unenviable task|
|Lynn the six king, Scorchers the team to beat - The best Opta facts as the BBL returns|
|West Ham star Lanzini charged for dive at Stoke|
|Root backs Cook, Broad and Anderson to extend Test careers|
|Bayliss still believes he´s the right man to lead England|
|Mikel not interested in January move to Everton|
|Dortmund frustrated by Aubameyang punctuality - Zorc|
|Hegazi secures permanent West Brom deal|
|We´ll see how he pulls up - Smith unsure Starc will play in Melbourne|
|Diddy wants to buy Carolina Panthers and sign Kaepernick|
|Police investigating ´hate crime´ amid reports of Sterling attack|
|Halstenberg suffers broken hand in scoring for Leipzig|
|Van Gaal eyes one more job ´to spite Manchester United´|
|The Ashes Round-up: Perth pummelling sees Australia reclaim the urn|
|Valverde fumes over ´absurd´ lack of VAR in LaLiga|
|We´ve not played well for long enough, says beaten Bayliss|
|´Proud´ Smith hails Australia selectors after regaining Ashes|
|England ´outplayed´ by Australia as Root loses grip on the urn|
|Conte rails against Chelsea exit rumours|
|Dominant Australia regain the Ashes|
|Arnold backed for Socceroos job as Ryan pays tribute to Postecoglou|
|Jaguars end NFL playoff drought, Packers in danger|
|LeBron logs third straight triple-double as Cavaliers keep rolling|
|I´m happy playing for Lazio, says Man United target Milinkovic-Savic|
|Klopp dislikes ´Fab Four´ nickname|
|Wet pitch, rain delay final day in Perth|
|Ronaldo a legend, one of best ever – Ramos|
|Richardson to put Panthers up for sale at season´s end|
|Starc set to bowl despite bruised heel|
|Steelers star Brown suffers calf injury|
|Patriots edge Steelers in thriller|
|Kaka Retires: The last member of Brazil´s 2002 World Cup-winning team|
|Barcelona won´t give Real Madrid a guard of honour – Amor|
|Valverde adamant Clasico won´t decide LaLiga|
|Barcelona could have held Griezmann talks, says Amor|
|There are other challengers - Suarez tempers Clasico fever|
|Adverse drugs test has put Froome in ´horrible situation´|
|Pre-season win over Spurs key to City´s season, Guardiola claims|
|Juventus still monitoring Liverpool´s Can - Marotta|
|Griezmann apologises for ´awkward´ fancy dress|
|Barcelona lose Alcacer for El Clasico|
|Barcelona 4 Deportivo La Coruna 0: Suarez, Paulinho at the double in Clasico warm-up|
|Griezmann attracts criticism for ´racist´ fancy dress|
|Spedding extends Sarries losing streak, Wasps halt La Rochelle|
|Klopp calls for Liverpool consistency after Bournemouth battering|
|Coutinho won´t be drawn on Liverpool future|
|Kaka Retires: Ballon d´Or, Milan glory and Brazil brilliance among career highlights|
|Liverpool make top-flight history in Bournemouth victory|
|We can´t think we´re unbeatable - Jesus|
|Lukaku´s love for West Brom behind muted celebration - Mourinho|
|Bournemouth 0 Liverpool 4: Coutinho sparkles as Reds return to winning ways|
|Pool-topping Blues gain Sale revenge|
|Kaka Retires: Former clubs and team-mates pay tribute|
|Dybala needs to be in better physical shape - Allegri|
|Hearts break spell but Celtic join Milan, Porto among unbeaten elite|
|Juventus allowed Bologna nothing - Pjanic|
|Mourinho: United lost ambition in second-half slump|
|Lingard claiming second goal in Manchester United win|
|Rohit relishing overseas challenges after Sri Lanka ODI series win|
|Kaka eyes future in the boardroom after resisting Milan swansong|
|West Brom 1 Manchester United 2: Lukaku on target against old club|
|Former AC Milan and Brazil star Kaka announces retirement|
|Bologna 0 Juventus 3: Pjanic, Mandzukic and Matuidi send champions second|
|Feyenoord hit seven against Sparta Rotterdam|
|Dhawan hundred seals series win after Sri Lanka collapse|
|Gattuso slams ´embarrassing´ Milan after Verona defeat|
|Celtic´s 69-match unbeaten run ends with Hearts thrashing|
|Fekir keen on Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico, Manchester City... and Arsenal|
|Julian Savea not ruling out rugby league switch|
|Mbappe pips Martial to Telefoot Trophy|