Callum Hudson-Odoi could miss the start of the 2019/20 season after the winger confirmed he suffered a ruptured Achilles during Chelsea's 2-2 draw at home to Burnley in the Premier League on Monday night.
Hudson-Odoi's promise to work hard bodes well for a player dealing with an injury that typically demands a prolonged recovery time:
The 18-year-old left the pitch after failing to control the ball near the touchline late in the first half. He was helped from the playing area by medical staff, moving gingerly as he was eventually led down the tunnel.
Hudson-Odoi wasn't the only player injured on a costly night for Chelsea. Midfielder N'Golo Kante, who got on the scoresheet, had to be replaced by Mateo Kovacic at the start of the second half.
Fortunately for Kante, assistant manager Gianfranco Zola confirmed his problem is not as severe as Hudson-Odoi's:
The latter's injury has come at a time when the academy graduate was finally becoming a fixture in Chelsea's first team. Manager Maurizio Sarri had put his faith in Hudson-Odoi after the youngster impressed in domestic cup competitions earlier in the campaign.
He's also thrived during the Blues' run to the UEFA Europa League semi-final:
Those performances even helped the teenager showcase his skills at senior international level for England. He earned plaudits for his first contributions for the Three Lions.
Hudson-Odoi has been keeping experienced wide forwards Willian and Pedro on the bench for league duty. His accelerated development was timely given Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich hadn't been shy about expressing their interest.
Los Blancos are said to be "increasingly confident" of signing the classy No. 10 during this summer's transfer window, per Sky Sports News.
Losing Hazard would rob the Blues of their creative fulcrum. Replacing him won't be easy with Football.London's Oliver Harbord reporting the club is still waiting on the outcome of its appeal against a two-window transfer ban imposed by FIFA and set to start this summer if upheld.
Hudson-Odoi's value at Stamford Bridge is obvious, so Chelsea will be banking on a speedy and full recovery for a player gifted enough to become the focal point of a new-look team next season.