Wayne Bridge is battling to feature again this season for the Blues after undergoing a hernia operation this afternoon.
The Blues defender is not long back from a knee injury that kept him out of the side for 13 matches between the beginning of December and beginning of February.
This time the luckless 29-year-old is expected to be sidelined for around a month just when the race for the Champions League places hots up.
A heavily strapped Bridge came off in the first half of the dramatic 1-1 draw at Sunderland on Sunday and his extended absence will now lead to a scramble for the left back berth in the remaining ten games.
Roberto Mancini has specialist, experienced left backs in Spaniard Javier Garrido and Brazilian Sylvinho and also has the emerging Greg Cunningham in his armoury - the youngster having recently been boosted by a call up to the Republic of Ireland squad.
The manager could also deploy either Gareth Barry or Joleon Lescott on the flank in an emergency so has plenty of cover for England international Bridge.