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Diego Costa Hamstring Watch: Should be ready for World Cup but not Champions League final

Should the alarm bells be ringing after his third right hamstring injury of the season?

David Ramos

As we while away our time until the new and improved and non-football-killing Chelsea season begins - but wait; call now and we'll include an extra Premier League title challenge for free! - one of the ways we will be occupying ourselves is by watching and following certain players.

One such player will be Diego Costa, who has a very high likelihood of ending his summer at a training ground in Cobham.  While that has the potential to prove to be the start of something fairly special, the shine would quickly fade if his suddenly Marko Marin-esque hamstrings don't get their acts back together.

The latest word on the street is that the injury, which forced him off against the title-clinching draw in Barcelona will most likely keep him out of this weekend's Champions League final as well (bad news for Thibaut Courtois & Co.) but probably not next month's World Cup (good news for César Azpilicueta & Co.).

What is slightly concerning me here is that this is the third time Costa's right hamstring has given out this season.  Now, since we're bipeds and not quadrupeds, what's commonly referred to as the hamstring is actually a collection of several muscles and tendons, but to heighten the drama, let's not worry too much about those specific distinctions.

So, he first injured the right hamstring in November in a match against Villareal; MRI scans revealed tears in the adductor portion and put the striker out of commission for two weeks.  Incidentally, this coincided with his first ever call-up to the Spain national team, which did give him an extra week to recover instead.

At the end of March, in another 1-1 draw in Barcelona, in the right hamstring once again, the muscle on the inside half of the back of the thigh gave out.  That grade I strain kept Costa out for another two weeks, though Atlético managed to knock out Barca nonetheless.

Not a month later, the current injury problems started with the straining of the right "femoral biceps,"* which is the hamstring muscle right next to the one injured just before.  After a week's rest, the striker was deemed fit to play, but obviously that assessment was proven untrue in barely 16 minutes of actual match action.

* that's not the official name for it, but I shall now call my hamstrings my femoral biceps because that's way cooler.

As far as I can tell, while each new injury was to a slightly different part of the hamstring (with the latest getting re-injured over the weekend), the overall picture is still somewhat concerning.  And I don't think it's outlandish to claim that injury to one part of the muscle could've put extra pressure on other parts, causing the body to overcompensate and perhaps weaken them as a result on the original injury.

But, regardless of the causes and effects, the fact remains that Diego Costa has missed time on three separate occasions this season due to his right hamstring.  And with the prospect of a busy summer of high pressure matches and not enough proper rest for the tired and overworked hamstring looming ahead for perhaps our future great hope at center forward, it's certainly something to keep a very close eye on.

Get well soon, Diego!

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