Chelsea injury news: Hazard out for a month but Falcao returns
Belgian to be given time to recover from a hip problem so he is fit for Euro 2016
Chelsea's season is all but over but still the bad news comes for the Blues, who will have to make do without Eden Hazard for a month as they attempt the climb the table.
The Belgian, who was player of the year last season, has been a shadow of his former self this term, but it has emerged that he has been struggling with a hip problem.
He missed the FA Cup defeat to Everton at the weekend and now that there is no silverware available, "medical chiefs are reluctant to take any further risks", reports the Daily Mail.
Hazard, whose father has criticised Chelsea for forcing him to play, will take up the offer of a break.
"With Euro 2016 on the horizon, Hazard does not want to take any risks with his fitness ahead of the tournament," adds the paper.
Against that news, the fact that Radamel Falcao is ready to make a comeback may not generate that much excitement in west London.
The Colombian flop has missed five months of the season after suffering a groin injury in October. But Metro reports he is now close to a first team return, just as Diego Costa prepares for a three-match ban after his red card on Saturday.
"[Falcao] has been training for more than a week and is growing in his physical fitness," said interim Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink.
However, Falcao's return only raises questions about the future of Alexandre Pato, who has barely featured for the Blues since arriving from Corinthians in January, adds Metro.
Chelsea injury news: Hazard set to face Ozil and Sanchez
Diego Costa may be unlikely to play a part in Chelsea's crunch match against Arsenal on Sunday, but the Blues could at least have Eden Hazard available this weekend.
With Chelsea languishing in the bottom half of the table and Arsenal preparing to welcome Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez back to the side after injury layoffs, the Blues have been given a much-needed boost with news of Hazard's recovery from a groin strain.
The playmaker, currently rumoured to be unhappy at Stamford Bridge, has not featured since picking up the injury in the win over Crystal Palace on 3 January, but is thought to be ready to make his comeback soon.
"The Belgium international trained with the squad for the first time since the injury on Friday and will resume full training this week," reports the Daily Mail.
However, the newspaper sounds a note of caution as it says Chelsea will "not take any chances" on Hazard "despite the magnitude of Sunday's clash".
The club want the 25-year-old winger back to his best as they attempt to mount a late surge up the table, while the player himself, who has endured a frustrating season, will be anxious not to return too soon lest he aggravate the problem and jeopardise his chances of playing for Belgium in Euro 2016 this summer.
Chelsea injury news: Diego Costa a doubt for Arsenal clash
Chelsea striker Diego Costa is doubtful for the crunch game with league leaders Arsenal next weekend, after bruising his tibia during last Saturday's 3-3 draw with Everton.
Although the Spanish forward is likely to miss nest Sunday's game at the Emirates, there is relief at Stamford Bridge that the injury was not more serious.
Initial fears were that Costa had fractured his leg, but Sky Sports reports a scan showed only bruising and he was back at Chelsea's training ground at Cobham on Sunday for treatment.
If Costa does not recover in time, Loic Remy could start at Arsenal, says the Evening Standard, as Radamel Falcao, who has been out since October, is still not fit.
Blues manager Guus Hiddink described the striker's current injury as "very serious" over the weekend. He also revealed that Falcao's setback had come since former manager Jose Mourinho left the club in December.
"It's a pity for him because he's very eager to come back," said Hiddink. "That's a bit of the problem - he was so eager… and wanted to prove himself maybe a little bit too much to me, and then he fell into this injury again."
However, Sky Sports notes Falcao is seen as surplus to requirements at Chelsea and was due to return to his parent club, Monaco, only to fail a fitness test.