Chelsea have suffered an injury blow during their pre-season preparations, as defender Branislav Ivanovic is set to miss up to three weeks with a dislocated shoulder.
According to the Daily Mail, the Serbian international suffered the injury while playing for the Blues against RZ Pellets in Austria on Wednesday, and puts a blemish on what was a comfortable and pleasing 3-0 victory for the new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.
The injury occurred in the first half, and the player was not risked in the second half of the game having been subbed by teammate Baba Rahman. However, it has been reported that the 32-year-old will not be fit enough to play against Liverpool and Real Madrid when the squad travel to the US later this month.
The injury doesn’t appear to be too serious however, as Ivanovic will travel with the squad to the States and continue his rehabilitation on his shoulder so that he will be ready for the beginning of the new campaign in their first game against fellow London club West Ham United on August 15th.
Conte will be concerned with the injury nonetheless, as his defensive options are stretched coming up to the start of the season, which has been made even clearer by the Italian’s publicised search for a new defender in the transfer market.
The club are reportedly in talks with two defenders – Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Kostas Manolas of Roma – and are keen to bring either of them in to the club as soon as possible if the right deal can be agreed.