AC Milan are gearing up for a crucial month ahead but may have to make do without their goalkeeper Mike Maignan. The French custodian picked up a calf injury while on international duty with Les Blues during their clash with Austria on Friday (September 23).
According to Italian news outlet Calcio Mercato (via Sport Witness), Maignan's injury is 'more serious than expected' and he could face up to a month on the sidelines. This will force the goalkeeper to miss the side's important Champions League games against Chelsea in October.
The Serie A champions are set to visit Stamford Bridge on October 5. This will be followed by the reverse fixture on October 11, interspersed between what is a league encounter with Juventus.
Stefano Pioli's side will have to negotiate this daunting set of fixtures without Maignan, who has started all seven of their top-flight matches so far this season, keeping two clean sheets.
His absence will give Romanian international Ciprian Tatarusanu, who has not made a single appearance in the 2022-23 season, a chance to start in goal.
The Rossoneri are currently leading the race in Group E with four points while Chelsea are at rock bottom with just one.
This will be the first encounter between the two sides since the group stages of the 1999-2000 season when they played out two draws.
Chelsea cannot afford to drop points against Milan
With just a point in two games, Chelsea could be heading out of the Champions League in the group stage.
The Blues were beaten 1-0 by Dinamo Zagreb in their opening match before being held to a 1-1 draw by Red Bull Salzburg at home.
Up next are the reigning Italian champions AC Milan led by former Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, who will be hoping to prove a point or two.
Thomas Tuchel was given the boot after the defeat in the Croatian capital. However, with their league games canceled following the demise of Queen Elizabeth II, new manager Graham Potter has overseen just one match so far.
New signings Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly have not produced their best form yet, while Chelsea have struggled to find goals consistently. The upcoming clashes against Milan will be a real test of the west London outfit's mettle.