Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has been ruled out for at least two weeks with a thigh injury, Bristol City manager Lee Johnson has confirmed. The 19-year-old has returned to the Premier League leaders for treatment but will resume his season-long loan spell with the Championship outfit next month.
Abraham was substituted in the first half of a 2-1 defeat to Leeds United last week with what has initially described as a "serious" muscle problem. The England Under-21 international has scored 21 goals this season for the Robins, who are just two points off relegation.
"It's a big loss for us given how many goals he's scored this season and how good he's been," Johnson told City's official website. "It's the best case scenario because at one point we thought it could be six to eight weeks.
"Tammy is hoping it's nearer two than three weeks. Chelsea are looking after him at the moment and we'll get him back in around a week to ten days to start getting him back on the [training pitches]. It gives an opportunity to other players in the squad to show their talents and they will, I'm sure."
Johnson is likely to be without his leading scorer for the visit of Fulham and trips to leaders Newcastle United and then Aston Villa. Abraham's next outing may not come until City host fellow strugglers Burton Albion in a relegation six-pointer on 4 March.
Antonio Conte, the Chelsea manager, has promised to give Abraham opportunities when he returns to Stamford Bridge in the summer and news he will not miss any more than three weeks is a major boost to his hopes of further catching the Italian's attention. Top scorer Diego Costa has been heavily linked with leaving west London, with Abraham arguably one of the candidates to fill the gap upon the resumption of his career in the top flight.
Since joining Chelsea as a youngster in 2004, Abraham has made two senior appearances for the club – his full debut coming against Leicester City on the final day of the 2015-16 season. He was also part of the squads that won the Uefa Youth League and FA Youth Cup in successive years.