Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has revealed Diego Costa broke his nose during a training session but he hopes the striker will be available for the game against Newcastle United on 13 February as both Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao remain out. Meanwhile, he claimed Eden Hazard is now "able to for longer periods in the games" after the Belgium international underwent a special programme to get him back to full fitness.
Costa has been a crucial player for Hiddink since he took over from Jose Mourinho in December 2015, with him scoring seven goals, including a late equaliser to deny Manchester United a win on 7 February. The Dutch boss revealed he suffered the blow during a training accident but hopes he is ready to lead his attack against the Magpies.
"Yesterday in training, Diego got in a duel and had his nose broken," the boss revealed. "I like to hide [who it was]. It was not Oscar. It was one of the youngsters of the academy who we like to participate.
"It was not a tough duel, but he put his nose on the back of the kid's head. He was very unlucky and his nose was broken. He will return today. They'll try and give him a mask as well... we are a team with a lot of masks. A Zorro team – Azpi, Matic, now Diego.
"He will come back and do some light training in the afternoon because he must experience how he deals with the mask. Then he will join us in the hotel later on."
The Spanish striker's participation would be a big boost for Hiddink after the manager revealed Pato and the injured Falcao remain on the sidelines, with the Brazilian working to get his full fitness after having joined the Blues in January and the Colombian making "progress" to return to action following more than three months out of action.
"Pato is in the second week of pre-season. Not now, not at the moment," he said. "He's progressing, he came from holiday – of course you can see the difference between him and the ones in daily training. After 10 days, you can see him progressing but next week he will go to the next level of training."
Hiddink, meanwhile, has been very cautious with Hazard in recent weeks, starting him on the bench in the last three Premier League games, against Arsenal, Watford and Manchester United, after the Belgian suffered two injuries in the space of a month.
Questioned what Hazard needs to do to regain a place in the starting line-up, Hiddink said: "Nothing missing but he is coming out of a double injury in the last weeks. We made a special programme to get him fitter. He is able to go for longer periods in the games. Let's first see his performance in the upcoming game. Our concern, with a lot of respect, is to focus on Newcastle."