Guus Hiddink has confirmed that Chelsea will remain without Eden Hazard for the Premier League visit of Everton on 16 January. The Belgian playmaker has been sidelined since suffering a groin injury during the early stages of a 3-0 victory at Crystal Palace earlier in January, missing the FA Cup third-round tie with Scunthorpe United in addition to the 2-2 draw with West Brom at Stamford Bridge.
But while Hazard will definitely miss a third consecutive game, he could be in line to make his comeback for the trip to Arsenal. Speaking at his latest pre-match press conference, Hiddink revealed the player is hopefully set to return to first-team training early next week but must prove his fitness before he can be considered for selection.
"Not regarding the last game," the manager replied when questioned over any new injury concerns. "There were no injuries in that game.
"The only one who is not available yet is Eden Hazard, although he is on the pitch working and I think in the upcoming week will have full training sessions. Then we'll decide if he can join us in the Arsenal game next weekend.
"We have to be a little bit careful that we don't fall again with a setback. That's why I say he must have some tough training sessions. From Tuesday to Thursday he must have intense training sessions."
With the likes of Gary Cahill and Loic Remy now recovered from ankle and calf issues respectively, the only other Chelsea absentee aside from Hazard is Radamel Falcao. The on-loan striker's last game for the club came against Liverpool in October 2015, since when he has been sidelined due to a persistent thigh problem.
Such an injury recently scuppered his chances of securing an early return to Monaco and it does not appear that the Colombian will be back on the pitch any time soon. Expanding further on his latest team news, Hiddink added: "The rest is OK. Falcao is out, but we knew that."