Chelsea striker Diego Costa has finally withdrawn from the Spain squad due to "a level 1 hamstring tear on the biceps femoris of the left thigh", the Spanish Football Federation has confirmed.

The former Atletico Madrid striker has been plagued by hamstring problems since the latter part of last season, being forced to leave the field early in the first half of the Champions League final against Real Madrid while playing at the World Cup with some discomfort.

Having suffered the same problems at Stamford Bridge earlier in the campaign, he had a recurrence during the 3-2 victory over Hull City on Sunday 22 March, being replaced by Loic Remy in the 75<sup>th minute despite his side desperately seeking a goal, with the score locked at 2-2.

But after he missed the two previous national team games against Belarus and Germany in November in similar circumstances, drawing criticism about his lack of commitment to the national team, Vicente del Bosque urged him to travel to Spain on Monday to undergo a medical scan with their doctors even though the Chelsea medical department had already informed them about his injury.

It is understood that Costa also wanted to go to Madrid to show his commitment to the national team and put an end to any negative speculation.

After undergoing a scan with the Spanish doctors, Del Bosque's side have given Costa the green light to return to London to continue his recovery ahead of the Blues' next game against Stoke City on 4 April.

"Spanish international forward, Diego Costa, left the premises of the Spanish Football Federation this morning after undergoing several tests with the medical services of the RFEF," the official statement said.

"The striker suffers a level 1 hamstring tear on the biceps femoris of the left thigh, which was previously already noted by the medical services of his club, whereby the medical staff at the RFEF recommend him not to take part in the national team's next matches against Ukraine and the Netherlands. Diego Costa will return to Chelsea FC where he will undergo the corresponding medical treatment."

Even before Costa's withdrawal, Spain had called up Malaga striker Juan Miguel Jiménez López, known as Juanmi, to replace him as a clear sign that the Chelsea striker was expected to pull out of the squad.