Eden Hazard is expected miss the start of the new Premier League season after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury that will keep him out for approximately three months, Chelsea have announced.
Hazard sustained a fractured ankle during a training session with Belgium, ruling him out of Monday's friendly against Czech Republic and the World Cup qualifier with Estonia on Friday.
The attacker subsequently underwent surgery on his right ankle and Chelsea do not anticipate him returning to training until September, likely ruling him out of the opening weeks of the new campaign.
"Everything went well with my ankle operation, now I start the road to recovery," Hazard wrote on Instagram.
"I will be stronger. Thank you for your support everyone!!"
Hazard has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge and indicated last week that, although he is happy in London, he would consider a move to Real Madrid if the Champions League winners were to make a bid.
The 26-year-old hit 16 Premier League goals as Chelsea claimed the title in Antonio Conte's first season in charge, although they were beaten 2-1 by Arsenal in the FA Cup final.
His injury will be a blow for Conte as his side gear up for a return to the Champions League in 2017-18 having not featured in European competition last term.
Hazard was named Chelsea's Player of the Year, becoming the second person in the 50-year history of the prize to collect it for a third time.