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Hazard has good news on his back injury ahead of Everton clash

Chelsea’s biggest star has been dealing with a back injury for the past three weeks, but he says the pain is now gone

Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Free at last, free at last, free of pain at least, says Eden Hazard ahead of today’s clash against Everton at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea’s main man has been carrying an annoying back injury for the past three weeks, ever since he was scythed down by Ashley Young’s scissor-legs — yes, this will be pointed out every time, as should be the part where the foul should’ve seen a penalty awarded to Chelsea, too. Hazard missed three games with the ailment before slowly working his way back with appearances of 30 (last Sunday) and 60 minutes (Thursday).

“I was feeling good on Thursday. There was no more pain in the back. It was a tough game but a good result and good for myself. We want to keep scoring goals and winning.”

Despite perennially being the most fouled player in the league (and those are just the ones that are called!), Hazard has managed to stay remarkably healthy and fit. But his nagging hip problem (thanks, Jamie Vardy!) was one of the reasons Chelsea’s 2015-16 went to pieces, and a summertime broken ankle (thanks, international duty!) was one of the reasons Conte’s second season was problematic from day one, so it’s imperative that he remains fit and relatively injury-free.

“I’m 27 now and starting to get older, so I have to take more care of my body. I am feeling the wear and tear. I have been playing football as a professional for more than 10 years. It is part of the game, I guess.

“I am not happy with being kicked to be fair but it’s part of football. The referee tries to do his job and I try to do mine.

“I guess when I am on the floor I can win free-kicks, so every free-kick is a chance to score more goals.”

As far as extra protection from referees goes, something that both José Mourinho and Antonio Conte had harped on repeatedly, Hazard himself isn’t counting on any at this point. If it hasn’t come in the last 6.5 years, it’s certainly not going to come now.

“For me that would be better but for the referee it’s hard to show a yellow card in the first minute. Everywhere it is the same for me. We have a lot of physios at Chelsea, so I just start with more treatment. I have been doing yoga since I have been at Chelsea and that helps.”

-Eden Hazard; source: Express

Having committed just 3 fouls this season, Hazard has been on the receiving end of 28 (called ones) in 10 Premier League appearances. That’s 4 less than Wilfried Zaha’s league-leading total, but in 200 fewer minutes. Per-90, Hazard is top among players with at least 500 minutes this season (3.6/90), and second if we drop that requirement to 250 minutes (Watford’s Isaac Success is averaging 3.7).

Better get that extra session of yoga in before tomorrow’s match then!

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