LONDON - English Premier League champions Chelsea will be without Israeli national captain Yossi Benayoun for virtually the rest of the season after he underwent an operation to repair a torn Achilles tendon.
The 30-year-old faces six months rehabilitation treatment following the operation on the injury which he discovered when he went away for international duty for the recent Euro 2012 qualifiers with Croatia and Greece.
"Yossi Benayoun underwent surgery on his Achilles (tendon) on Monday," read a statement on the club's website.
"The Israeli international returned to the club from international duty last week, and will now be out of action for approximately six months."
Benayoun, who signed from Liverpool for 5.5million pounds in July this year, has not played for Chelsea since Chelsea's League Cup defeat at home to Newcastle on September 22 because of a calf injury.
Chelsea, though, expect to be boosted by the return to training of Brazilian defender Alex and Ivorian international striker Salomon Kalou after being out through injury.