Chelsea skipper John Terry will be sidelined for around three weeks after injuring his knee in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool last weekend, manager Roberto Di Matteo said on Friday.
Initial fears that the injury, sustained in a collision with Luis Suarez, could be long-term have proved unfounded and Terry should be back well before the busy Christmas schedule.
"With Terry, we're looking at approximately three weeks out; fortunately it's not as bad as we first thought," Di Matteo said at his news conference ahead of their Saturday trip to West Bromwich Albion (1500 GMT).
Scans earlier in the week revealed a ligament strain.
Chelsea are also without fellow centre back David Luiz who has tonsillitis. Midfielder Frank Lampard will also miss the game as he continues his recovery from a calf strain. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Clare Fallon and Julien Pretot)