In what's quickly turning out to be a two-part episode (possibly even a season finale event) of House M.D. -- if House M.D. were still a show on television -- there's been another plot twist in Diego Costa's injury saga. No, it's not lupus. It's never lupus.
The mystery over Diego Costa's condition has deepened after it emerged that the Chelsea striker was forced to spend time in hospital after returning from international duty with Spain.
Costa is struggling with a groin injury, but has also been battling an illness that forced him to go to hospital. Chelsea have not specified the illness and whether Costa is fully over it, but it is understood that the 26-year-old had symptoms similar to a severe stomach bug. That he has two problems goes some way to explaining the level of anger felt by Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, over the condition in which his leading goal-scorer returned to the club last week.
At the risk of connecting a few too many dots, this might explain Mourinho's choice of words to describe Costa's condition after returning from international duty -- "so you can imagine how strong he was," the manager deadpanned before the Crystal Palace match -- and it could shed some light on why suddenly Costa wasn't able to play at all despite being declared fit by Chelsea for three matches in a week and then by Spain for both of their matches during the international break. And any nagging injury he may have (groin or hamstring; reports are conflicting) certainly won't be recovering ideally while the striker also battles some illness. Stomach flu (i.e. gastroenteritis) or even food poisoning can hit you quickly and hit you hard, that's for sure.
What this piece of Telegraph exclusive doesn't change is Costa's chance of playing this weekend. Last we've heard, it's still just "very little." While Loïc Rémy is hopeful that his own injury isn't major, it's looking likely that Didier Drogba will have to find some of his old magic on Sunday at Old Trafford.