Diego Costa was only used as a late substitute against Schalke…
Chelsea striker Diego Costa was restricted to a substitutes cameo against Schalke on Wednesday by a niggling hamstring injury, that manager Jose Mourinho has admitted the player is struggling with.
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Mourinho eventually threw on his top scorer with 15 minutes remaining, as he attempted to find a way past the Blues stubborn German opponents during the opening round of Champions League group matches. The match would finish 1-1, with Klaas Jan Huntelaar cancelling out Cesc Fabregas’ opener.
Costa, who has scored seven times in his four Premier League starts including a hat-trick against Swansea on Saturday, picked up the knock while on international duty with Spain earlier this month.
Mourinho, who was quoted by the Guardian, said: “He has a problem and he can’t play, in this moment, three matches in a week,”
Chelsea instead started with Didier Drogba in Costa’s stead, and the Ivorian missed several golden opportunities to secure three points for the home side.
“If he has one week to let the muscle recover he can start again like he was before he had that problem with the national team. But three days, after Saturday, is not enough,” Mourinho continues.
“Not selecting him here was not to protect him for the game for Sunday, but because today he was not in the condition after Saturday. He had a problem in the national team, not with us. And now we have a problem and have to resolve it as best we can.
“He was not fit enough to start against Schalke. On Sunday we believe he will be. Next week against Bolton [in the Capital One Cup], for sure he won’t be. We have to manage the situation until the moment he’s completely fine. I don’t know [how long that will be]. But, if today he had started the game, for sure he could not play on Sunday. We have to go step by step.”
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