Chelsea star Eden Hazard provides injury update as he makes admission | Football | Sport
But the Chelsea star insists he is ready to carry on taking the punishment if it means his team can keep winning.
Hazard took another battering in his side’s 1-0 Europa League win over BATE
Borisov in Belarus on Thursday, when he was felled several times by tackles of the type which have become all too familiar to the Belgian.
It was Hazard’s first start since missing three games with a back problem.
The niggling injuries have become more regular for a player who, in his early years at Chelsea, seemed to bounce back up after being knocked off his feet.
Hazard needed ankle surgery last year and had calf problems. The year before it was a hip issue that sidelined him for six weeks.
It has become a regular occurrence for teams to ‘tag’ Hazard. In other words, if the first defender does not get him the next one will – so dangerous is he as Chelsea’s main attacking weapon, particularly this season.
Hazard said: “I’m 27 now and starting to get older, so I have to take more care of my body. I am feeling the wear and tear. I have been playing football as a professional for more than 10 years. It is part of the game, I guess.
“I am not happy with being kicked to be fair but it’s part of football. The referee tries to do his job and I try to do mine.
“I guess when I am on the floor I can win free-kicks, so every free-kick is a chance to score more goals.”
Hazard, who has scored eight goals this season ahead of today’s clash with Everton, would like more protection from referees but is not holding his breath for that to happen.
“For me that would be better but for the referee it’s hard to show a yellow card in the first minute. Everywhere it is the same for me.
“We have a lot of physios at Chelsea, so I just start with more treatment. I have been doing yoga since I have been at Chelsea and that helps.
“I was feeling good on Thursday. There was no more pain in the back. It was a tough game but a good result and good for myself. We want to keep scoring goals and winning.”
Everton boss Marco Silva believes his side can register their first Premier League away victory over Chelsea since 1994.
He said: “Of course it will be tough but it is a big challenge for us. What I really hope and what I expect is that we will be ourselves on the pitch.”