Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he hoped left back Ben Chilwell will not require surgery and that the club will wait to see how the situation develops before deciding if they need cover for the position.
Chilwell has not featured for Chelsea since he picked up the knee injury in it's 4-0 Champions League win over Juventus in November.
"We are having a look at players and it being possible to get them in winter, there's a big gap between these two situations," Tuchel said. "The best option would be that Ben continues his positive evaluation.
"He is in a good place mentally and physically. He did some running, and everything looks good. So, hopes are still up but we cannot confirm that."
Tuchel said the club would take their time to assess the situation before bringing in any cover for the position.
"First, we be sure what we do with Ben. Then we decide if we go for internal solutions and if we trust we can overcome this period," he added.
"Everything depends on Ben Chilwell and how long he is out."
Chelsea, which is third in the Premier League, host Everton later on Thursday before a trip to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.
- Champions League 2023-24: Immobile double earns Lazio 2-0 win over Celtic
- Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023 LIVE Score, Round 4: Toss updates; Mumbai vs Pondicherry, TN faces Baroda; Bengal meets MP
- Champions League 2023-24: Atletico beats Feyenoord 3-1 to reach knockouts
- Champions League 2023-24: Last-gasp Mbappe penalty earns PSG 1-1 draw with Newcastle
- Champions League 2023-24: Manchester City claims top spot after recovering to beat Leipzig 3-2