Chelsea loanee Alexandre Pato is close to full fitness, despite being overlooked for the Premier League draw against Manchester United. The Brazil international has been signed for the remainder of the season from Corinthians but is yet to be named in a matchday squad since his arrival at Stamford Bridge.
Pato has not played a competitive game since November and has therefore been overlooked for the games against Watford and United, despite the Blues also being without Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao. The ex-AC Milan forward is continuing to work towards full match fitness and Hiddink confirmed before the game via his programme notes that Pato was putting plenty of effort in.
"Pato has been working on his fitness to be ready to play and he is a player with a lot of ability and hunger to return to the top level," the Dutchman wrote in Chelsea's matchday programme. "It is a loan signing and one we think can benefit both the club and the player."
Discussing another January signing, Matt Miazga, the US international who arrived from New York Red Bulls, he added. "Matt Miazga is a young defender with potential who has been playing Major League Soccer in the United States and has a good chance to develop here, where he is surrounded by top players and staff."
Miazga has been included in Chelsea's squad for the Champions League, a campaign that restarts against Paris Saint-Germain on 16 February. Though the 20-year-old was expected to be given just brief appearances between now and the end of the season, he could be required to make a significant contribution straight away. Kurt Zouma was substituted in the second-half against United with nasty knee problem and Hiddink fears the worst for the French defender.
"[Being out for] the rest of season is hopefully too much, tomorrow he will have an examination but it's very bad when you land with a hyper extended leg," Hiddink told a post-match press conference, according to the official Chelsea website. 'We'll see what happens, touch wood they have a good explanation. There are several scenarios when it's like that but it's very bad."