Chelsea have had a boost in the injury to Eden Hazard after Belgium boss Roberto Martinez insisted that his problem was ‘nothing serious’.
The 26-year-old played 85 minutes for his country in their 3-3 draw against Mexico, while netting in the process, however he also picked up a knock in the process.
Concerns had been raised over the fitness of one of the Blues’ star players as he missed training on Sunday ahead of their next friendly with Japan tomorrow night, however Martinez insisted it was nothing to be concerned with.
Martinez said in his press conference ahead of the game: “Hazard did not train on Sunday but there is nothing serious.”
Hazard missed the beginning of the season recovering from an ankle injury that he picked up while playing for his country at the end of the previous campaign.
The Blues are hoping that Hazard will be available for this weekend’s clash at West Brom, the midweek Champions League game against Qarabag and the visit to Liverpool.
Jamie Vardy defends Danny Drinkwater over England call-up row
JAMIE VARDY INSISTS Danny Drinkwater didn’t snub England after his former Leicester team-mate rejected the chance of a call-up for the national team’s current friendlies.
Drinkwater was accused of letting down England boss Gareth Southgate last week when he pulled out of the squad for the fixtures against Germany and Brazil.
The Chelsea midfielder said he did not feel fully fit after struggling to recover from the calf problem that has marred the start of his time with the Premier League champions.
It is not the first time Drinkwater has pulled out of England duty and his commitment to the cause has been questioned in some quarters.
But Vardy, who won the Premier League title with Drinkwater at Leicester two years ago, is adamant the 27-year-old is still desperate to play for England.
“I think he definitely wants to play for his country but, to be honest, he has been struggling to get a bit of match-time,” Vardy said.
“He was injured and he needs to get the match sharpness back. He has been doing that in recent weeks for Chelsea and he needs to keep building that up.
“He definitely has a chance of getting into the squad when he is fit. If he is playing the best he can then why not?
“He should be in with a shot but it is down to him to make sure he puts the performances in.”
Drinkwater is reported to be frustrated that his decision to miss the friendlies has been seen as a snub and he plans on proving he can win back his place in time for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
Drinkwater, who joined Chelsea for £35 million in late August, has made only two substitute appearances in the Premier League.
He is receiving more treatment after aggravating the calf problem when he came on as a substitute in Chelsea’s win over Manchester United on November 5.
In Drinkwater’s absence, Ruben Loftus-Cheek impressed in midfield as England drew 0-0 with world champions Germany on Friday.
Southgate’s men face Brazil at Wembley on Tuesday and Vardy hopes they can maintain the momentum from the positive display against the Germans.