Chelsea's Ivorian striker Didier Drogba will miss the start of the club's season, manager Luiz Felipe Scolari confirmed on Monday.
Scolari said the 30-year-old, who has spent the summer recuperating from a knee injury, is unlikely to feature until the very end of August. He will miss the Blues' opening Premier League games against Portsmouth, on 17 August, and Wigan a week later.
"Didier will not play in our first game against Portsmouth and will probably miss the second against Wigan. If there are no more problems he should be ready for the game after that," said Scolari.
Scolari has pencilled in the London derby against Tottenham on 31 August for a possible return but admits he will not rush the Côte d'Ivoire star.
"But when you have a knee injury, you just never know," said the Brazilian. "I have been getting a progress report from the doctor every day. He's getting better and is working with a fitness coach back at the training ground. I hope he will be ready to start training next week. But he will not play until he is in good condition."
The new Chelsea boss will have to rely on Nicolas Anelka as his only frontman for the first two games as Salomon Kalou is competing for the Ivorians at the Men's Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing.