Belgium coach has played down Hazard injury fear

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Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has played down fears of an injury to Eden Hazard after the Chelsea winger limped out of the closing stages of Sunday’s 8-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Estonia.


Hazard, who captained the side in the absence of the injured Vincent Kompany, scored to take his tally to 10 goals in 18 appearances for club and country this season.

He left the pitch in apparent discomfort after 73 minutes and was replaced by Everton’s Kevin Mirallas.

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But Martinez told his postmatch news conference: “Eden Hazard has no injury, but he received a kick on the calf.”

That news will come as a relief to Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte, who already has concerns over the fitness of striker Diego Costa ahead of Sunday’s Premier League trip to Middlesbrough.

Costa missed two days of training before pulling out of Spain duty with a muscular problem last week and is being assessed by Chelsea medical staff.

Between them, Costa and Hazard have scored 16 of Chelsea’s 26 goals in the Premier League this season, striking a combined nine times during a five-match winning streak in the league.

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