12 Feb ‘Costa got into a duel and broke his nose’
Chelsea striker Diego Costa is expected to be fit to play in a mask against Newcastle on Saturday after breaking his nose in training on Thursday.
Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink revealed on Friday that the striker suffered the injury in a training ground collision with an unnamed academy player.
“Yesterday in training Diego got in a duel, got his nose broken,” Hiddink said.
“It was not this tough duel, but he put his nose on the back of the head and he was very unlucky.”
Costa is poised to join full-back Cesar Azpilicueta in wearing a protective face mask, which was due to be fitted on Friday before a light training session to test Costa’s readiness. Azpilicueta is recovering from a facial injury.
Hiddink added: “Today is the day they put on a mask. We are a team with a lot of masks. A Zorro team.
“I hope. I’m not sure, but I think he will be available.”
Nemanja Matic and Gary Cahill have also worn protective masks this season, while Cesc Fabregas is among those to have worn masks in recent seasons.
Costa has scored seven times in nine games for Chelsea, including to earn a 1-1 Premier League draw at home to Manchester United last Sunday.
The blow was a reminder of Chelsea’s reliance on Costa, with Loic Remy (calf) out in recent weeks and Radamel Falcao (thigh) absent since October.
Hiddink, whose initial reaction to Costa’s blow was a worried groan, added: “When things happen, we go ahead with the people available. And with confidence.”
Hiddink would not be drawn on whether the blow for Kurt Zouma might have implications for captain John Terry.
The 35-year-old last month announced Chelsea would not be renewing his contract, but the club insisted the possibility remained the captain would be offered an extension.
Hiddink added: “That’s something to be answered by the management and the board and the directors of the club.
“The door was open and is open. We’ll see what will happen with this.”