José Mourinho fears Eden Hazard may be forced to miss his first Premier League game of the season, against Sunderland on Sunday, after reacting badly to dental surgery this week.
Hazard had sought the manager’s permission before having three teeth removed on Wednesday, Mourinho giving him the green light to proceed immediately having consulted the club’s medical department rather than waiting until next week when the champions travel to Thailand and Australia on a post-season tour. The Belgium international, who is one of three ever-presents in the Chelsea squad, has since suffered an infection.
That ruled him out of attending Thursday’s Football Writers’ Association awards’ dinner, where he was due to collect the player of the year trophy, and the playmaker will sit out training at Cobham again on Friday.
“Well, I hope [he will be able to play],” said Mourinho. “But I would never have allowed him to do what he did if I thought it would be this big. His mouth is in trouble. I don’t know if he can [play]. He had dental surgery, three teeth. But now there’s an infection and he’s a bit in trouble. If he’s a risk he won’t play, but he won’t train today.”
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Chelsea are without the injured Oscar, Ramires and Kurt Zouma against Sunderland, and Cesc Fàbregas will serve his one-match suspension having been sent off at West Bromwich Albion on Monday. Mourinho will offer some game time to Andreas Christensen and Jeremie Boga, an 18-year-old attacking midfielder, and is hoping Petr Cech will shrug off a calf injury in time to feature in what could prove to be his last game for the club at Stamford Bridge, with the team to accept the Premier League trophy post-match.
“I’m not sure Petr is fit, but he’s working hard to try and be available,” Mourinho said. “Today is the first session he’ll do with the team. I would like him to be fit, yes, but let’s see. If he is fit he will play at some point. And I hope to play Christensen and Boga, too.”
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Mourinho has paid tribute to Frank Lampard, whose involvement for Manchester City against Southampton will most likely be his last in English football before his summer move to New York City. Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer had departed last year without the same fanfare awarded Steven Gerrard by Liverpool last weekend, with Mourinho paying tribute to the 36-year-old’s glittering career.
“In the same way I had a few words about Steven Gerrard, I have to do with even more emotion about Frank Lampard, who is also playing his last match in the Premier League,” Mourinho said. “He is one of my best players ever, one of my best professionals ever, a Chelsea legend and a legend in the Premier League. So I have to honour him and wish him the best in the States. I hope he can come back to England as soon as possible because people like him make this country much better. A big loss for English football.”