Jose Mourinho thinks Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is the man to blame for Diego Costa’s recent injury troubles.
Costa began the season in prolific fashion, scoring nine goals in seven matches, but he has missed Chelsea’s last three fixtures because of a persistent hamstring injury.
The former Atletico Madrid man had also been suffering from a cold in the build-up to Sunday’s match against Manchester United, but Mourinho revealed it was injury, rather than illness that ruled the £32million signing out of the match at Old Trafford.
The striker has been troubled by the hamstring problem for some time, but Mourinho believes it was exacerbated by Spain coach Del Bosque, who fielded the 26-year-old for back-to-back games against Slovakia and Luxembourg at the start of October.
“The virus is fine,” the Chelsea manager said.
“It was hard, he had to go to the hospital and obviously it doesn’t help him to recover from his injury. But he didn’t play on Sunday because of the injury, not because of the virus.
“Diego has the hamstring (problem) because he played two matches in three days when he was not with us.”
Mourinho voiced his concern over a lack of communication with Del Bosque and other national coaches earlier this month and the problem still clearly concerns him.
When asked whether he hoped Costa’s injury problems were now over, Mourinho replied: “But he still has (to play for) the national team in November!”
For the immediate future, Mourinho looks as though he will be able to depend on the striker.
“I think so,” replied the Portuguese when asked if Costa would be fit for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League game against QPR.
Mourinho confirmed the Brazil-born front man would not travel to Shrewsbury for Tuesday’s Capital One Cup fourth round match against the League Two side.
Given that he is 36-years-old, Didier Drogba will need to “sleep for 24 hours” after his exertions at Old Trafford and will therefore miss Tuesday’s game.
With Loic Remy out through injury, Andre Schurrle is expected to lead the line at New Meadow, although young forward Dominic Solanke could also feature.
Mourinho confirmed in a post-match briefing at Old Trafford that Schurrle, Mohamed Salah, Kurt Zouma, John Obi Mikel and 19-year-old midifelder Lewis Baker will play at Shrewsbury.
The Shrews are 71 places below Mourinho’s unbeaten side in the league ladder so it was with little surprise that the Chelsea boss called Tuesday’s match a “friendly”.
The two-time League Cup winner still refuses to take victory over the League Two promotion contenders for granted though.
He added: “You can say that Shrewsbury in the Capital One Cup is a friendly, but we have to play the match and respect the match.
“They are doing very well in their league, they are did very well against superior teams (Norwich, Blackpool and Leicester) in the Capital One Cup.
“It is a big day for them and we know it is going to be difficult for us.
“And because we have so many injured players, it is even more difficult.”