Belgium manager Roberto Martinez insists a knock Chelsea star Eden Hazard has picked up while on international duty is “nothing serious”.
Hazard, 26, played 85 minutes in Saturday’s (11 November) friendly against Mexico before he was replaced by his brother Thorgan having opened the scoring for his side in a 3-3 thriller.
The Chelsea forward left the pitch carrying a slight knock which forced him to sit out of team training on Sunday, instead working away from the group ahead of Tuesday’s match against Japan in Brugge.
Martinez however has moved to ease any concerns over the Blues star, however, telling a press conference on Monday: “Hazard did not train on Sunday but there is nothing serious.
He was hit on Friday, but there is nothing to be worried about, we are going to assess the situation tomorrow, the reasoning is the same for Romelu Lukaku and the other players who played more than 45 minutes on Friday.”
Chelsea return to action against West Brom on Saturday and bar any problems during this week’s final round of international fixtures, Antonio Conte is set to have a fully fit squad available with the exception of Victor Moses.
A hamstring injury has sidelined the Nigeria international since October’s 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, only returning to outdoor training last week.
The former Palace starlet is now wary of returning too soon after an injury that was more serious than first feared. He told Goal:
“It was a bad one, it was a grade-three hamstring tear which is very bad so I have got to take my time. If I rush back then I could just fall back down again so it is about taking my time to be 100% fit to do what I am best at.”
Del Piero wants Conte to return as Italy head coach
Italy great Alessandro Del Piero wants Antonio Conte to return as the Azzurri head coach when he leaves Chelsea.
Conte spent two years in charge of the Italy national team, guiding the team to the Euro 2016 quarter-final and winning 14 of 25 games before returning to club management with Chelsea.
The Italian won the Premier League in record-breaking fashion in his first season at Stamford Bridge but has faced speculation over his future after a frustrating transfer window and interest from elsewhere.
On Tuesday evening Italy, four-time world champions, failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 after losing Sweden over two play-off legs.
“He did great with Juve of course and a great job with the national team,” Del Piero told Sport360 of Conte.
“We would love to have him back in Italy, of course, because he is a great coach. He would improve any team and this is what he did with Chelsea last season and what he did with Juve as well.
“We had some problems and he fixed it, then won the title. He has some amazing qualities and that’s why he’s coaching the best teams in the world.
“I hope he will have a great period with Chelsea and then maybe one day come back.”