Diego Costa hasn’t scored a La Liga goal since February. That drought is set to remain unbroken for a significant amount of time.
The Spanish international has suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out for an unspecified amount of time, leaving Atletico Madrid without its top target man. The team confirmed the injury on its official website, but did not give a timetable for his return, only that he is “pending further evaluation.” Local media has reported a potential three-week layoff for Costa, which is normal for hamstring injuries. Should it linger, which hamstring problems have the potential to do, it could potentially leave him sidelined for around four to six weeks.
Costa was hauled off after 69 minutes of Atletico’s 3-1 win over Club Brugge in the Champions League, replaced by 22-year-old midfielder Rodri. It’s unclear who will take over for Costa up front, but it’s possible that 30-year-old Nikola Kalinic – who has just 79 total minutes played so far this season after signing from AC Milan this past summer – could be the man to enter the fray. Star attacker Antoine Grizemann could also move forward to center forward, as he normally sits behind Costa in a second-striker role.
The 29-year-old has three goals on the season, but none have come in league play. He scored a pair in the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid way back on August 15, followed by Atletico’s equalizer in an eventual 2-1 come-from-behind win over Monaco in the Champions League group stage opener. Still, he is goalless in La Liga play despite playing 584 out of a possible 630 minutes.
With Costa out of goalscoring form, Atletico has struggled mightily as a whole to score goals. They have only lost one match this season in league play, but have three draws where they’ve scored a combined total of two goals.