Jose Mourinho has revealed that Diego Costa’s long-standing hamstring complaint is severely restricting his training regime, and this means the striker has yet to reach the ‘top of his game’ for Chelsea.
Costa has been in sensational goalscoring form for the club since his £32 million summer transfer from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, with the Spain international having scored eight times in only six Premier League appearances.
You would not know it from his performances so far in a Chelsea shirt, but Costa has been hampered by a hamstring problem that has resulted in careful management from the club’s fitness staff. So prohibitive is it that the manager says Costa is hardly able to train.
It remains a concern for Chelsea, particularly when games become more frequent, but the positive news is that Mourinho claims Costa’s best form is yet to come - which makes his displays for the club so far all the more impressive.
"I don't care about Diego's goals. For me it's important that the team score enough goals to win,” Mourinho told reporters after the win over Aston Villa.
"I know a striker scoring goals is always nice for him and for his confidence, especially for a player like him who is not training as he should, because we are protecting him in certain situations.
"He cannot be on top of his game, but even so scoring a goal is good for his confidence.
"He's doing almost nothing (in training). He's just resting and recovering from the tight muscle he has. Every time he accumulates fatigue."
Costa scored the second goal for Chelsea during their 3-0 victory over Aston Villa and completed 81 minutes of action until he was replaced by Loic Remy. He will, however, be a doubt for the Champions League encounter with Sporting on Tuesday.