London: Chelsea will discover the extent of the calf strain suffered by Eden Hazard against Paris Saint-Germain amid fears the Belgium international may be ruled out for at least a fortnight, an absence which would jeopardise his participation in both the Champions League semi-final and the potentially critical Premier League game at Liverpool.
Hazard, who had complained of tightness in the muscle during the warm-up, limped out of the contest on Tuesday after only 18 minutes to be replaced by Andr Schrrle.
Jose Mourinho confirmed post-match that the forward had suffered a “muscular injury” which might rule him out for a few weeks, though the 23-year-old underwent scans on Wednesday evening which will now be scrutinised by the medical staff at Cobham.
The player was in pain as he walked but had told French television when he was leaving Stamford Bridge that he had departed the pitch mainly as a precautionary measure.
“I’d already felt some pain in my calf during the warm-up and I didn’t want to take a risk,” he said. “We’ll see how it feels from now on.” That had been considered cause for optimism, though a two-week absence would be considered standard and would leave Chelsea’s leading scorer doubtful for the first leg of the European semi-final, to be played on either April 22 or 23. The London club are due to play at the current league leaders, Liverpool, the following weekend, before the return leg.
His replacement, Schurrle, scored the opening goal before Demba Ba’s late second jettisoned the French club and saw Chelsea into a seventh Champions League semi-final in the last 11 years. “There’s something in this team, it’s hard to describe, but it’s amazing,” said the Germany winger. “I’ve never played in a team like that before. I came here to be involved in games like this and to be with a team who have what it takes to go through.”
The Premier League, so often criticised by Mourinho this season, will move one of Chelsea’s televised Sunday fixtures to a Saturday to grant them more time to prepare for the Champions League ties. At present they are due to play Sunderland at home on Sunday, April 20 and at Anfield on Sunday, April 27, with the scheduling to be set in stone once the draw has taken place in Nyon.
Mourinho who is not expected to be sanctioned by Uefa for leaving his technical area during the game against PSG was at Wembley on Wednesday attending his personal hearing after denying an improper conduct charge for re-entering the playing surface having been sent to the stands in last month’s Premier League defeat at Aston Villa. The Portuguese was expected to find out on Thursday whether he has been found guilty or not by an independent commission he would face a fine having opted to protest his innocence as a point of principle.