Armando Broja’s stretcher exit against Aston Villa dealt Chelsea manager Graham Potter a potentially major injury blow.
The 21-year-old was taken away on a stretcher following a protracted period of treatment after colliding with Ezri Konsa within the first 19 minutes of their friendly in Abu Dhabi.
As he left the field, Broja seemed to be in a lot of pain, which would have been a hint that the injury might be serious.
The only two recognised centre forwards available to Blues manager Graham Potter if the Albanian is out for an extended period of time are Kai Havertz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Once domestic play resumes, the former Brighton manager will face a busy schedule of games as the team juggles Premier League commitments with the start of the FA Cup and the knockout stages of the Champions League.
After a productive loan stint with Southampton, Broja has played frequently for Chelsea this season, albeit mostly from the bench. In 18 games, he has one goal and one assist to his credit.
West Ham United wanted to sign Gianluca Scamacca from Sassuolo in a deal worth about £35 million in place of the permanent departure of Broja from Stamford Bridge. The club’s future ambitions for Broja were subsequently reaffirmed by Chelsea’s former head coach at the start of the season, Thomas Tuchel.