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."
|Costa should be back for Arsenal second leg, reveals Simeone|
|Wenger could coach Paris Saint-Germain, says Emery|
|Crusaders survive the storm, Chiefs inflict more misery on Reds|
|Wenger changed the face of English football - Dixon|
|Rodgers shrugs off Arsenal talk|
|Knights leave it late against Tigers, Cowboys end winless run|
|Austin track a disaster, says Rossi|
|Clash between top two ´more decisive´ for Napoli, Allegri claims|
|Chongqing sponsor ´positive´ over Iniesta deal|
|Valverde´s quiet crisis management leaves Barca ready to clean up|
|Wallabies centre Horne forced to retire|
|Vieira ´flattered´ by Arsenal link|
|Wenger was sacked by Arsenal, Wright claims|
|LeBron James: I won´t throw my team-mates under the bus|
|Dyche eager to feature in ´legendary´ Wenger´s Emirates farewell|
|Khan eyeing Brook fight later in 2018|
|United and City ´a million miles apart´, says Parker|
|Thorman slams dismal Giants display|
|Pogba must ´take more responsibility´, says Matic|
|Padres pitcher Ross´ no-hit bid steals spotlight|
|Cherry-Evans fined by Sea Eagles|
|Cavaliers blow lead as Raptors, Celtics lose|
|White Sox´s Farquhar faints in dugout, taken to hospital|
|Sporting Kansas City 6 Vancouver Whitecaps 0: Russell stars with hat-trick|
|Winslow fined $15,000 for stepping on Embiid´s mask|
|I don´t fear the challenge – Klopp eager to close gap to City|
|Johnson shares lead as Garcia misses cut in Texas|
|Career backup QB Luke McCown retires at 36|
|Texans ´optimistic´ about Clowney contract extension|
|Everybody wants to play under him – Ozil pays tribute to Wenger|
|Conte defends Chelsea record compared to Mourinho|
|LaLiga strugglers Espanyol show Flores the door|
|Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella|
|Four in a row for Wigan as Saints thrash Huddersfield|
|Reims´ latest vintage secure promotion to Ligue 1|
|Gloucester cruise into Challenge Cup final|
|Quiros claims one-shot lead despite rollercoaster round two|
|Millwall 0 Fulham 3: Sessegnon on target as Jokanovic´s side go second|
|Curry to begin modified practices on Saturday|
|Ancelotti welcomes Arsenal links, praises Wenger decision|
|Nadal produces ´best match of tournament´ as Dimitrov beats doubles partner|
|I think Arsenal would be good for a German coach - Podolski|
|Wilshere, Ramsey, Mertesacker and the best social media reaction to Wenger´s Arsenal departure|
|Watson haunts Royals with Super Kings hundred|
|Selby bracing himself for tough title defence|
|Exeter left ´disappointed´ by Ampadu transfer verdict|
|Froome thrilled with ´perfect´ build-up to Giro|
|Copa del Rey glory a good way to put European exit behind us, says Valverde|
|LMA hails Wenger´s impact at Arsenal|
|Wenger passes the torch as Arsenal face up to his formidable legacy|
|Gazidis: Arsenal cannot replace Wenger – we need a new path|
|Ronnie rivals never doubted Crucible attendance of ´snooker´s Tiger Woods´|
|Van Bronckhorst using Wenger´s methods at Feyenoord|
|Former NFL lineman Evan Mathis´ 1952 Mickey Mantle card sells for $2.88M|
|Wasps forward Johnson suspended for failed drugs test|
|I´d break another finger to win the Copa del Rey - Rakitic|
|Arsene Wenger: The Arsenal manager´s worst moments|
|Wright: More Arsenal changes needed after Wenger exit|
|Guardiola wishes Iniesta the best ahead of potential Barcelona exit|
|Real football people appreciate Wenger - Moyes, Warnock and more pay tribute|
|Guardiola set for contract talks with Manchester City|
|Controversial Slater score helps Storm to victory|
|Liverpool top, DVDs just invented and no Harry Potter – The world when Wenger joined Arsenal|
|Heynckes cannot compare Lewandowski and Ronaldo|
|Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe and more – the stars Wenger claims he could have signed|
|Ferguson: Rival, colleague and friend Wenger is one of the greatest|
|Gattuso wary of challenge for Milan´s European place|
|Neuer returns to Bayern training after seventh-month absence|
|Wembley no advantage for Spurs in semi-final, warns Mourinho|
|WATCH: Dez Bryant works out with Odell Beckham Jr. as rumors swirl|