The Czech goalkeeper was carried off with a torn calf muscle in the SanSiro last night as Carlo Ancelotti's team were knocked out of theirstride by Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.
Losing streak: Things get worse for a flagging Chelsea side against Inter as goalkeeper Petr Cech is carried off midway through the second half
Inter Milan 2 Chelsea 1: Esteban Cambiasso's rocket is a bit Special as Jose Mourinho trumps rival Carlo AncelottiMartin Samuel: Jose Mourinho is a very special coach - and master of both Chelsea and Inter MilanKeeping the Drog on a leash: How Inter kept Didier Drogba arm's lengthPICTURE SPECIAL: Jose Mourinho is a true box office hitWayne Bridge to snub John Terry gesture in Chelsea's clash against Manchester City On a night when Mourinho outwitted Ancelotti by nullifying the threat of Didier Drogba through sheer force, Inter took the initiative with goals from Diego Milito and Esteban Cambiasso.
Salomon Kalou gave Chelsea hope of turning the tie round at Stamford Bridge with a second half goal and he was unlucky not to be given a penalty in the first half when he was bundled over by Walter Samuel.
Cech was injured landing heavily after collecting a cross and fell in a crumpled heap. Chelsea's medical staff immediately called for a stretcher and substitute keeper Hilario replaced him on the hour.
Early strike: Inter took the lead through Diego Milito inside three minutes
Cech must be doubtful for the return leg in three weeks after leaving the field in obvious pain.
Ancelotti said: 'Cech had an injury on his calf, we have to control his condition over the next few days.'
Inter took the lead through Milito inside three minutes before Kalou's side-foot strike got Chelsea back on terms soon after the break. But the visitors were behind again less than five minutes later when Cambiasso's drive from the edge of the box flew into the bottom corner.
Out of luck: Chelsea should have been awarded a penalty when Salomon Kalou was bundled over by Walter Samuel
Ancelotti said of Kalou's penalty claim: 'I think it was a penalty but a penalty is when the referee blows the whistle. We can say that we were unlucky this evening and we hope it will be better in the future. Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez is a very good referee with a lot of experience.'
Inter manager Jose Mourinho admitted the tie remains very in the balance ahead of his return to Stamford Bridge in three weeks time.
'Of course I'm happy inside,' said Mourinho. 'I don't think the game was a question of tactics. It was a high level game, no surprise for me, with the quality they have.
Conducting his troops: Jose Mourinho gets his message across to the Inter players
'It's the kind of result that keeps it in the balance. I told the players they are not better than us. Chelsea can play better - Inter can play better. Now it will be down to the team with the greatest ambition.'
Frank Lampard felt Chelsea had done enough to at least come away from the San Siro with a draw. He said: 'Maybe we deserved better. On the balance of play we felt we were the stronger team.'
Inter Milan 2 Chelsea 1: Esteban Cambiasso's rocket is a bit Special as Jose Mourinho trumps rival Carlo AncelottiMartin Samuel: Jose Mourinho is a very special coach - and master of both Chelsea and Inter MilanKeeping the Drog on a leash: How Inter kept Didier Drogba arm's lengthPICTURE SPECIAL: Jose Mourinho is a true box office hitWayne Bridge to snub John Terry gesture in Chelsea's clash against Manchester City