Chelsea could be without Yossi Benayoun for much of the season after the Israeli FA revealed he has suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Benayoun suffered a torn calf muscle in the Carling Cup defeat to Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on September 22.
The midfielder was only expected to be out for three weeks and had linked up with the Israel squad for the forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers at home to Croatia on Saturday and in Greece next Tuesday.
However, the national team’s medical staff have discovered a more serious injury to the player’s Achilles and it is now feared he will be out of action for several months.
The Israel captain told his FA’s website: “I arrived with hope of helping the national team but unfortunately this is not a simple injury … an additional test will reveal what needs to be done.”
Benayoun will now return to England where Chelsea’s medical staff will carry out further tests.
“I’m sitting here in the hotel quite sad about this,” Benayoun added. “I’m eating myself up from inside when I think about how long I’ve waited to come to the national team and contribute. Right before the two important games, I suddenly get hurt. Since this is one of my few remaining opportunities to play in the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, I really wanted to take part in these two games.”