Antonio Conte has issued a worrying update on Eden Hazard’s recovery from injury, claiming it is impossible to put a date on his comeback.
The Belgian international has not featured during pre-season as he steps up from an ankle injury he suffered on international duty following the end of the domestic season.
Hazard, who enjoyed his most prolific campaign in a Chelsea shirt last term as he inspired the Blues to a second Premier League title in three years, had originally been penciled in for a return to action in September, but Conte appears to have played down that hope.
‘It’s difficult to give a time or a date. Difficult, difficult,’ he said ahead of Chelsea’s opening game of the season against Burnley on Saturday.
Summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko is not yet ready to return to the fold as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury, while Pedro is also ruled out of Saturday’s match through suspension and injury.
Victor Moses is also banned following his red card in last season’s FA Cup final and Conte hinted he was preparing to give a full debut to Antonio Rudiger, the £34million summer purchase from Roma.
He said: ‘It could be his [debut],’ said Conte of Rudiger, who made a substitute appearance in the Community Shield last weekend.
‘There is no Moses tomorrow because he is missing for one game, it could be an opportunity to start the game for Rudiger.
I have been impressed with him. He’s a good player and he’s strong physically. he has a good personally, as well as technique’