Diego Costa will be the latest Chelsea star to wear a face mask after he suffered a broken nose in training, manager Guus Hiddink has confirmed.
The controversial striker was injured in what Hiddink described as a “duel” with an unnamed academy player, and the collision resulted from Costa needing quick treatment on his bleeding nose. The academy player’s name later revealed as Fikayo Tomori.
Costa clashed with the 18-year-old Canadian youth during a training session on Thursday afternoon while he was challenging for an aerial ball and, unexpectedly, ended up worse off.
After visiting a local hospital, Costa had no other choice but to fly straight to Milan to have a protective mask fitted that will eventually allow him to face Newcastle United today.
“Yesterday in training Diego got in a duel, got his nose broken,” Hiddink told the reporters.
“It was not this tough duel, but he put his nose on the back of the head and he was very unlucky.”
Costa now becomes the second current Chelsea player to don a mask for matches as he joins defender Cesar Azpilicueta in wearing one. Gary Cahill, Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic have all gone through similar treatment methods in the past after picking up facial injuries, while past players Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Petr Cech have also been seen playing with face masks.
Hiddink joked that the injury does look like to affect the Chelsea team more than others, adding: “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.”
The Brazil-born Spain international, who has bagged seven goals in his last nine appearances returned to England on Friday to have an afternoon training session with his new mask on to prepare for the Newcastle game.
Caretaker manager Guus Hiddink is already without Radamel Falcao and on-loan Alexandre Pato, whereas Loic Rémy has been sidelined with a calf problem, that means he cannot afford to lose his main striker Diego Costa as well.
While central defender Kurt Zouma will not be able to play for the remaining of the season following an anterior cruciate ligament damage, Hiddink has admitted 18-year-old Jake Clarke-Salter had been called up to the first-team squad in an emergency situation to provide cover.