I missed this earlier, because David Luiz was bombing my timeline with the assorted thoughts of some really really boring people, but Juan Mata has confirmed that he'll be returning to the squad next week after a summer away with Spain:
After a few days to switch off, I'll be joining the team next Tuesday. I'm looking forward to start a new&exciting season!— Juan Mata García (@juanmata10) August 3, 2012
So, he'll miss out on the Brighton friendly on Saturday, but he'll be back in time for the Community Shield on the 12th, a week before the opening match of the Premier League season. It's a shame that we couldn't have given Mata a longer rest -- I was really worried about him getting worn down towards the end of last season, and he's spent all summer in what must have been fairly intense training.
Fortunately, he only got three games at the Olympics, with Spain crashing out, but with Eden Hazard around I'm hoping that Roberto di Matteo doesn't lean too hard on Mata for the opening month or so of the season. He started 47 games for Chelsea last year! Give him a break please.