Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is set to be sidelined for three weeks after surgery on a groin injury.
Drogba, 32, had struggled with the groin problem for much of last season and Friday's surgery was needed to ensure his injury doesn't linger in the new campaign. The Côte d'Ivoire star is unlikely to recover in time for the Community Shield clash against Manchester United at Wembley on August 8 and could miss the start of Chelsea's Premier League title defence as well.
Drogba, who hit 37 goals last season to fire Chelsea to the double, was hindered by an arm injury at the World Cup and scored just once in three matches as his country crashed out at the group stage. A Chelsea statement read: "Didier Drogba successfully underwent minimally invasive surgery yesterday [Friday] on the groin injury that had troubled him for some of last season.
"The decision to perform the procedure after his return from the World Cup was made to optimise his rehabilitation, and he is expected to return to full training in approximately three weeks."
Drogba's injury is the latest blow to Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, who has already seen Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech and Brazilian defender Alex ruled out for a month due to injuries suffered in training this week.