Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has played down fears that Alvaro Morata has suffered a serious setback after limping off at the weekend.
The Spaniard lasted just 35 minutes in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, as he appeared to pull up with a hamstring problem. That led to question marks over whether or not he would feature over the international break and return to play for Chelsea on October 14 when they travel to Crystal Palace.
It seems as though Conte isn’t concerned about the situation, as he is quoted as saying that he doesn’t believe that Morata has sustained a serious problem.
“It’s a muscular problem,” Conte said, as reported by The Times. “I don’t think it’s a serious problem because he stopped before it will become a serious injury. He said to me, ‘Coach, I prefer to stop myself otherwise I risk a bad injury.’ The doctor now in the next days has to check the situation, but I don’t think he’s available for the national team.”
That in itself will be a disappointment for the 24-year-old, as Morata would undoubtedly have been eager to make an impression on Spain coach Julen Lopetegui in the all-important race to make his World Cup squad next summer.
Nevertheless, he will be desperate to continue his impressive club form and as noted in the tweet below from freelance injury analyst Ben Dinnery, the expectation is that while Morata has withdrawn from the Spain squad, he should be back to face Palace.
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) October 2, 2017
The former Real Madrid forward has scored seven goals and provided two assists in nine games for Chelsea so far this season, and he’ll be crucial in helping them bounce back from that disappointing loss to City at the weekend.