West Ham's towering striker Andy Carroll is set to face another lengthy absence away from the pitch, after suffering a hairline fracture in his foot against West Brom last month - in which he scored both goals in a 2-1 Hammers victory.
The 29-year-old made a brief appearance against Tottenham days later, but is understood to have had a painkilling injection prior to coming on.
Chelsea had reportedly lined up a deal to sign Carroll this month as they look to secure a physical striker this January. However, the injury has prompted the Italian to look elsewhere; with Chelsea now set to move for Burnley's Ashley Barnes.
"We found out yesterday after Andy went for a scan and it showed up that he has got a problem. We are not sure whether the ankle will need an operation or not.
"We are getting two or three specialists to look at it and then we will be able to make the correct decision. Hopefully we will know within a week.
"To lose him takes away a big part of our armoury. It is frustrating for Andy, but it is frustrating for us... Andy gives us another option and alters the way other teams play against you."