He may have scored seven goals in his first four Premier League games, but Chelsea’s star striker Diego Costa cannot play more than one game a week. That’s right.
[WATCH: Costa’s first PL hat trick]
Costa, 25, is still suffering from a reoccurring hamstring issue which hampered his final few months at Atletico Madrid last season and made his World Cup with Spain a misery this summer. Costa was touch and go for Chelsea’s match vs. Swansea City last weekend but came through a late fitness test and then scored his first hat trick in the PL.
On Wednesday night, he was left on the bench and came on for the final 15 minutes as Chelsea were held 1-1 at home by Schalke in their UEFA Champions League Group G opener.
Speaking after the game, Jose Mourinho revealed the extent of Costa’s issue and why he didn’t start vs. Schalke.
“It was not to protect Costa for the game on Sunday [Manchester City vs. Chelsea], it was because he was not in condition to start the game,” Mourinho said. “Playing on Saturday, three days is not enough for him to recover.”
With a huge game coming up for Chelsea away at Manchester City on Sunday, Mourinho needs his man main fit and healthy. Costa is likely to start against City but up until now we really didn’t know the extent of his hamstring issue. That makes his remarkable goalscoring record to the start the PL season even more impressive, as the Spanish international has scored seven times from just 14 shots.
He is pushing himself, and his hamstring, to the limit but with Chelsea aiming for success in the Champions League as well as the PL, which competition will Costa play in? The Blues have Didier Drogba and Loic Remy in reserve and it seems like those two will get plenty more reps in the coming months as two games every week becomes the norm.