Something quite rare happened to César Azpilicueta in the FA Cup Final against Arsenal two weeks ago. And no, it wasn’t that he played pretty badly, as surprising as that may have been as well.
Just before half-time, he pulled up lame with an obvious hamstring strain and was unable to continue. It was the first major, multi-week injury of his Chelsea career. While he’d picked up various knocks along the years, he’s missed maybe two matches due to them since arriving in 2012. And those were mostly precaution, while there was absolutely no way he was going to play in the season finale at Bayern.
It’s been some year, this 2020. And it’s barely halfway over!
Fortunately, Azpi’s hamstring strain is of the milder variety, and the Chelsea captain expects to be ready for the start of pre-season, which should be coming up in a week or two. (New season starts September 12!) This would be in line with the initial three-week prognosis.
“I am hoping to be fit for the start of pre-season. ’ve been lucky enough not to have had many injuries in my career but unfortunately it happened against Arsenal.
“I’m working with the physio now with a programme from the club, while also spending a bit of time with my family, but mostly training and working on the pitch to recover. If everything goes well, I will be ready to start pre-season as normal.”
We would expect nothing less from Ironman Dave, who’s just 14 appearances away from 400 for the club, and just 11 more after that from 10th all-time.
One would expect him to hit that before the year’s out, even. And hopefully while leading the team to greater heights.
“This is the mentality we must have; the hunger and ambition to not be happy with what we have done in the past but have a determination to keep it going and to be fighting at the top every day.”
-César Azpilicueta; source: Chelsea FC
So say we all.