Luiz Felipe Scolari has conceded Didier Drogba is definitely out of Chelsea's first game of the season and is unlikely to figure until the end of August.
The 30-year-old has missed the club's pre-season as he recuperates from a knee injury that will prohibit his involvement at the start of the season.
Chelsea kick-off their campaign against Portsmouth on 17th August and will do so short of fire-power as Nicolas Anelka is their only available recognised striker.
Scolari has pencilled in the London derby against Tottenham on 31st August for a possible return but admits he will not rush the Ivory Coast star back into action.

Fitness work

"Didier will not play in our first game against Portsmouth and will probably miss the second against Wigan. If there are no more problems he should be ready for the game after that," said Scolari.
"But when you have a knee injury, you just never know.
"I have been getting a progress report from the doctor every day.
"He's getting better and is working with a fitness coach back at the training ground. I hope he will be ready to start training next week. But he will not play until he is in good condition."