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Injured Chelsea star returns early from international duty with critical Premier League schedule ahead

Chelsea striker Diego Costa has withdrawn from the Spain squad with injury as he looks to now recover from the groin issue over the international break.

As confirmed by Sky Sports, he has now been replaced by former Liverpool forward Iago Aspas with reports earlier this week revealing that he had arrived at training camp with a problem.

Costa will miss a World Cup qualifier against Macedonia on Saturday before Spain take on England at Wembley in an international friendly next week.

Nevertheless, it will be a relief for Chelsea to have him back in London earlier than planned as they look to provide further treatment to ensure that the injury issue doesn’t become a bigger one.

The 28-year-old has been in fine form so far this season having scored nine goals in nine Premier League games to start the campaign, and his fitness will be of paramount importance to Antonio Conte with some difficult fixtures ahead.

Chelsea face Middlesbrough next, followed by clashes with rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City as their recent upturn in form will undoubtedly be tested.

Boro have held both Arsenal and City in recent weeks and so will be a difficult assignment off the back of the international break, but Conte will hope that Costa is fit enough to lead the line for his side and continue his impressive form.

Following a run of five consecutive wins in the league without conceding a single goal, Chelsea have moved up to second in the table and sit just a point adrift of leaders Liverpool after 11 games.

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