Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has confirmed a massive injury boost ahead of the last part of the campaign after revealing that Eden Hazard is ready to make his long-awaited return to action in the Premier League trip to Bournemouth on Saturday (23 April). However, the Dutch boss added that the game will come too early for John Terry and Loic Remy, who will remain on the sidelines with long-term absentee Kurt Zouma.
The Belgium international has been out of action since suffering a setback in his ongoing hip problems during the Champions League elimination to Paris Saint-Germain on 9 March. Hazard has consequently missed the last four Premier League game, including the two disappointing defeats to Swansea City and Manchester City.
Hiddink has now claimed that Hazard is finally back in contention for the trip to Bournemouth, although he is not 100% fit to play the whole 90 minutes of the game.
"He is available and will travel. Not for the whole game, but he's available to play," the Chelsea boss said in a press conference ahead of the game. "This week he trained physically without any complaints, which is a good signal. He was very alive."
The Chelsea manager added that Terry is also eager to come back after being out of action due to a calf problem since March. However, the boss claimed his captain will need to remain on the sidelines for at least one more game, with a return target of the London derby with Tottenham Hotspur early next month. However, the captain will travel with the rest of the team in another sign of his commitment.
"I like people to be involved in the team, sometimes we take more than the 18 on the list, sometimes we take youth players for experience," the Blues boss explained. "Also, John is very committed and he's annoyed about the injury. He desperately wants to be with the team."
"He has his treatment here and he has done individual training. I'm hoping he'll step up next week and we'll see how it goes for the last couple of games. If we play on Monday week he has to be training with the group by Thursday [to have a chance of playing]."
Remy and Zouma, meanwhile, will also miss the game. Hiddink was very positive in the recovery of the latter as the centre-back is improving well from the serious knee injury he sustained against Manchester United earlier in February.
"Zouma is working very hard," Hiddink said. "I like his spirit and the fact he's trying to come back as soon as possible, but of course not this season. He's a very tough and encouraging guy."