Chelsea star Kurt Zouma suffered a knee injury during the Premier League match against Manchester United on Sunday after landing awkwardly during a clearance and will require surgery that will likely end his campaign.
Continue for updates.
Zouma's Recovery Timeline Revealed
Monday, Feb. 8
Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph reported Zouma is "likely to be out for six months" after the injury, noting it was a "big blow for Chelsea."
Zouma Comments on Injury
Monday, Feb. 8
Kurt Zouma @KurtZouma
Scan today has shown I injured my ACL. I will have surgery this week & will come back stronger. Thank you everyone for all the messages 🙏🏻🙏🏻2016-2-8 17:43:40
Zouma's Injury a Big Blow to Chelsea's Shaky Central Defence
Given the poor form of the likes of John Terry and Cahill so far this season, the 21-year-old's unavailability comes as a big blow for interim Blues boss Guus Hiddink.
In stark contrast to their title-winning form in 2014-15, Chelsea's defence has been remarkably poor this term.
Hiddink now has even further limited options in the centre of defence, with Terry and Cahill likely to be utilised, barring the use of Branislav Ivanovic at centre-back.
With fixtures coming up against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League, Hiddink would no doubt have liked to have his whole squad available to him, but he will now have to do without Zouma.
The France international is highly rated as one of the best young defenders in Europe at the moment and provides great physical presence in the Chelsea back line as well as youthful verve.
Zouma made only seven Premier League starts last term, but he has already made 20 in the English top flight in 2015-16, per WhoScored.com.
Both he and the Chelsea coaching staff will be frustrated at his latest setback—he missed the end of the 2014-15 season with a knee injury—but time must be taken before Zouma is brought back into the side.
Zouma's physicality makes him susceptible to picking up injuries, and he must preserve his long-term fitness, as he likely has a long and successful career ahead of him.