Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho, on Friday said that none of his players have returned from their international duty with injury, adding that those who have fitness problems have recovered.
The Chelsea boss made known the clean bill of health for his squad at his pre-match media conference.
According to Chelseafc.com, Mourinho told journalists that Diego Costa who came off in the last league game at Hull City, due to a hamstring injury, will be available for tomorrow’s match against Stoke, adding that a decision is yet to be made on whether the striker will begin the game or be on the bench.
“Diego trained yesterday and today with the group and he is not injured,” Mourinho said.
“I don’t know if I start with him or not because after a muscular injury and then just two days with the group, I need to analyse the situation with him and make a decision.
“His injury was the same as before, hamstring, and he dedicated himself to that with no days off for him or the medical department, working morning and afternoon. We did all the tests and scans to confirm the situation two days ago and at the moment the muscle is fine, but football is more than that, you need confidence, you need to believe you are free to express yourself at the maximum intensity and that is our doubt at the moment. Let’s see in the next 24 hours.
“All the season he works on prevention to make the muscle stronger and at the same time elastic and flexible, recovering well with no big accumulation of fatigue. Myself and the medical department always believe that an operation is the last resort for every injury – so we try always to train and recover to compensate the little problems. I don’t believe we will ever go to the surgery option.”
Speaking about John Mikel Obi, he said the Midfielder is in full training again, following minor knee surgery, but will not be considered for the game.
“Mikel is fine and working all week with the group but he is very tired so he is not selected, but he is not injured,” the manager said, explaining that rehabilitation training differs significantly from training for match action.
The Manager added, “He is tired because he was injured for a month, he had surgery and he was not working with the group, so after four sessions with the group he needs time to adapt and needs time to be in condition.”
The Nigerian’s tiredness is different, Mourinho told the conference, from that attributed to Eden Hazard, following his international action. There is no doubt the Belgian will be ready for action tomorrow.
“Eden was tired because he played two games in three days and he played in Israel. He traveled and he didn’t sleep as he arrived in Belgium at 5 or 6 in the morning. He is tired because he played and we think that he can recover in these couple of days and he starts the game tomorrow.”
“That is football for a player who is important for club and national team. He is a player that I want to play every time and his coach for his country wants to play him every time. He is player who plays with the ball, he creates and dribbles and plays with lots of intensity so it is not a surprise he can be a bit tired – but I believe in him, I believe in the team and I believe in his ambition to play and his desire to play and help the team to reach the season’s objective, so I start with him.”
Speaking on the game against Stoke city the Chelsea boss said,”Everybody knows the way Stoke play but they are difficult opponents and that is why they have no problem staying in the Premier League. They have a manager who is there a couple of years and has a new contract and the same players and they are very stable. Everyone knows the way they play but it is difficult for everyone.”
Mourinho added that the team needs six victories and one draw from nine remaining matches.