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Eden Hazard struggling to be ready for Burnley

Bad back is still bad

Chelsea FC v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Mike Dean didn’t see anything wrong with it. Ashley Young never apologized for it. TV pundits never mentioned it, but the vicious tackle that Young inflicted on Eden Hazard near the beginning of the second half on Saturday — a tackle that should have been a penalty, a second yellow for Young and a sending-off — is having long-term consequences.

It tweaked Hazard’s back badly enough that he was limping at the end of the game. The morning after, Hazard struggled to get out of bed. He missed the BATE match, although it was a foregone conclusion that he was going to to sit it out. (He was well enough to sit in the stands which, in the world of bad backs, is a good sign.)

But now comes news that he also missed Friday’s training session. That puts his availability against Burnley in peril for Sunday.

With Chelsea having dropped six points in their last four Premier League matches (draws against Manchester United, Liverpool and West Ham) and slipping off the top of the table by two, getting maximum points out of our trip to Turf Moor takes on a little bit more urgency.

Obviously, the hope is that Hazard is able to take part in Saturday’s training session or that his back is healed enough for him to be included in Sunday’s squad. Otherwise it will fall to Pedro and Willian to lead the line, as they did on Thursday.

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