Chelsea striker Diego Costa fit to return to Premier League action against Aston Villa on Saturday (17 October) after serving his domestic and international suspension. The 27-year-old has made one appearance since 19 September after being given a three-match retrospective ban for striking Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny and being left out of the Spain squad for the final two 2016 European Championship qualifiers.
Costa has missed the Blues' games against Walsall in the Capital One Cup, and the Premier League matches against Newcastle United and Southampton. The former Atletico Madrid forward also missed Spain's international double-header against Luxembourg and Ukraine, the first due to suspension, meaning he has played just once in the last four weeks.
But while Costa, who has only scored one goal in all competitions this term against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League, has not been in competitive action he has been able to work on his fitness at Chelsea's Cobham training ground. The Spanish hitman is therefore at peak fitness ahead of the resumption of his campaign against Villa this weekend.
"It's been really important for me," Costa said of the time away from the game, according to The Evening Standard. "I have been able to train with my own specific schedule to help me get better and better.
"The sessions have been good and I have been able to benefit from being here," Chelsea's top scorer last season added. "I've been working on what I needed to work on and I am happy about that."
Costa was speaking after meeting supporters at a signing session prior to the domestic season restarting. The Chelsea man has been at the centre of controversy already this season and though his reputation remains intact in west London he is keen to give something back to the club's dedicated support.
"It's always important to spend some time with the fans when you can," the Brazilian-born forward explained. "It's a way of saying thank you to them for supporting us in a way we can't do on the pitch.
"You never quite get used to it but it's great because it makes you realise that you're popular at a club that supports you, that people trust you. That's all really important to me. Hopefully, we can start on a good winning run for them all."
The news regarding Costa comes after goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has not played for the club since August due a knee injury suffered on international duty, confirmed he should be fit to resume his campaign in December. The Belgium stopper has begun rehabilitation from a knee problem and announced via his Instragram account he should be fit to return before Christmas.