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Sunday 17 December 2017

Hiddink concerned by Hazard fitness struggle

Chelsea's Eden Hazard (PA)
Chelsea's Eden Hazard (PA)

Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink has "concerns" about Eden Hazard's Hazard was booed as he was substituted with a hip and groin problem during Wednesday night's Champions League exit to Paris St Germain, when his half-time shirt swap with Angel Di Maria invited the fans' fury.

The Belgium playmaker's father Thierry told Belgian newspaper Hiddink says Hazard is "desperate" to feature in Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final at Everton.

"His father made a fair judgement. He is not absent of injury," Hiddink said. "What is an injury? You can have an injury where you cannot play, or where you can play when you are not fully fit. "I have my concerns about him as well: whether he should play, when he's not top, top fit, an hour at full intensity or another part of the game (as a substitute). We're trying to help him."

Thierry Hazard said his son's injury is "not serious, but the pain, once it appears, is a stabbing pain". Everton boss Roberto Martinez has reiterated his belief the club's season should only be assessed once it has come to an end.

Ahead of the match he was asked once more for his thoughts on suggestions Everton should be doing better than they are given the talent in their squad.

And he replied by repeating an assertion he made earlier in the campaign, saying: "I think when you want to assess what you have done in a season, you have to wait until the end of it."

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