Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Diego Costa will miss at least two weeks of football, including the visit of Manchester United to Stamford Bridge.
The clash between the current first and third placed teams in the Premier League is likely to be crucial in deciding the destination of the league trophy, with the Red Devils’ recent good run of form leading their manager Louis van Gaal to insist the trophy is not out of his team’s reach.
Chelsea are currently seven points clear at the top, a lead that will be reduced to six should Manchester City beat Crystal Palace tonight. Costa, who Chelsea signed for over £30 million in the summer from Athletico Madrid and scored 19 goals this season, was brought on as a substitute at half-time of Chelsea 2-1 win over Stoke City on Saturday. But, the Spaniard was forced to leave the pitch with a recurrence of his long term hamstring injury.
The Chelsea manager is hoping the Spain international will return after a fortnight but that will probably not be soon enough for the Manchester United match on the 18th April.
“He will be out for sure a couple of weeks, but we have seven weeks until the end of the season.” the Portuguese said.
Defending his decision to bring on Costa, Mourinho continued:
“The player trained two days 100 per cent with the team, the medical department was convinced that he was ready. Sometimes as a manager I have to risk things. Medical departments have to do the same, if they want to be top medical departments like our department is.”
Costa’s fitness was also the subject of speculation before Chelsea’s match with Manchester United in October, a match where Chelsea were left to rue missed chances after Robin van Persie equalised in stoppage time to secure a 1-1 draw.