Maurizio Sarri believes Eden Hazard may only be able to manage 40 to 45 minutes of Chelsea’s match with Crystal Palace.
Hazard, 27, sustained a back injury in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United after a challenge from Ashley Young and and has missed the side’s recent victories over BATE Borisov, Burnley and Derby.
There were hopes that Hazard would be able to start at Stamford Bridge this weekend but the Belgian is still struggling for fitness ahead of the Premier League clash.
While Hazard returned to training after Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win, Sarri doubts that the forward will be able to play the full 90 minutes.
Asked if Hazard is back to full fitness, Sarri replied: ‘I don’t know. Eden yesterday had a large part of the training with the team. He might not be ready for 90 minutes yet.
‘It was the first part of training for a few weeks. He might be able to play for 40 to 45 minutes. I want to speak with him first. On whether Hazard would start, Sarri responded:
‘I don’t know. I want to speak with him first.’
‘The record is only a consequence of the match for now I have to send the message to my players that only this match is important. ‘All the rest is a consequence.’