Graham Potter admits Ben Chilwell’s hamstring injury at the end of Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League “doesn’t look positive”.
Chilwell pulled up with just two minutes of the match remaining in injury time before limping off with the medical staff.
He shook his head at team-mate Mason Mount, who immediately ran across to him when the referee stopped play. Mount looked in disbelief when Chilwell spoke to him.
“It doesn’t look positive,” Potter told BT Sport. “It’s a hamstring [injury] and we will have to scan it and see how it is.”
Chilwell would almost certainly have been part of England’s 2022 World Cup squad and may have been Gareth Southgate’s leading left-back option, until this untimely development.
The World Cup in Qatar begins on November 20, with England playing on the second day of the tournament against Iran.
Chilwell missed most of last season due to a ruptured cruciate ligament injury which required surgery.
He has slowly played more minutes during the early phase of the new campaign, coming off the bench in games and more recently he started matches for the first time in nearly a year.
Glenn Hoddle believes the body language of Chilwell suggested the injury could be serious.
“I feel for Ben dreadfully,” said Hoddle. “Sometimes with a hamstring you get a little warning sign. That’s when you put your hand up.
“That one just went. His face went and as he touches the ball he grimaces and looks in real pain. It looks like a nasty one. I don’t understand why they haven’t carried him off.
“At the end of the day that’s such a blow for Chilwell. He’s had a bad, bad knee injury to overcome and he’s probably still rehabbing in a way. I am gutted for him.”
Former Chelsea and England star Joe Cole added: “Horrible sight for Ben Chilwell. I feel his pain.
“I had problems at the back end of my career. It’s heart-breaking. As soon as it happens all you can think about is that it is so close to a World Cup.
“If it’s a hamstring injury usually the least you can hope for is 2-3 weeks before you get back onto the pitch. It’s really tough. I really feel for him.”