Eden Hazard will miss the start of the 2017/18 season after undergoing successful surgery on the broken ankle he sustained on international duty.
The Chelsea superstar fractured his right ankle in the most innocuous of circumstances whilst with the Belgium national team on Sunday, and the Blues’ official site confirmed that Hazard was set for a three month spell on the sidelines after he was had an operation on Monday.
Hazard, who had reportedly hinted that he would be open to a move to La Liga giants Real Madrid this summer, will spend the close season beginning his rehabilitation programme and should be in line to return to the pitch sometime in September.
Everything went well with my ankle operation, now I start the road to recovery! I will be stronger. Thank you for your support!! pic.twitter.com/aokirnytkW
— Eden hazard (@hazardeden10) June 5, 2017
The news has provided a significant blow to Chelsea boss Antonio Conte’s plans heading into the new campaign, and the Italian will cross his fingers that Hazard returns to full fitness – and form – as quickly as possible upon his return.
Meanwhile, Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has admitted that he has been left baffled by the nature with the 26-year-old picked up his injury.
The Spaniard was quoted on FourFourTwo’s website as he insisted that no other Red Devils star was anywhere near Hazard when disaster struck, and claimed that everyone was left stunned by the innocent looking incident.
He said: “I am very disappointed with Eden’s injury. We all know he is a great player, but not everybody sees he is a great human being and leader for us as well,” he said.
“He was working hard to be ready for these two games and then this happens. There was nobody near him when it happened. He wanted to move from his left foot to his right foot as he lined up a shot and then it happened.
“We were all in shock and immediately realised it was serious. He is already back in London and we have been in touch after the game. He watched the match and congratulated us with the win.”
Hazard was in inspirational form for Chelsea last season as the Londoners reclaimed the Premier League title after a pitiful 2015/16 season. The ex-Lille maestro bagged 16 goals and five assists in 36 league outings to help fire the Blues to the English top flight trophy, and his form led to widespread speculation that Real Madrid would come calling for his services.
Hazard was quoted in Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws as he commented on the gossip surrounding his future – although he placated any positive response by stating that he was still a Chelsea player at the moment.
He said: “We all have dreams. It could be Spain, it could be staying with Chelsea, but it’s not something I’m thinking about right now. We’ll see.
“In football you never know, but at the moment it’s not something that’s on my mind. I’m a Chelsea player. I still have a contract for three years. We’ll see.”
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