Antonio Conte: Patience key with Hazard

Eden Hazard

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte insists Eden Hazard will need time to regain full match fitness following the Belgian’s international return from injury.

Hazard underwent ankle surgery during the summer and made his first club appearance of the season as a late substitute against Leicester, having featured from the bench in both of Belgium’s recent World Cup qualifying matches.

The 26-year-old played the final 12 minutes of Saturday’s 2-1 win at the King Power Stadium helping the defending champions move to nine points from their opening four games, and within one of table-toppers Manchester United and Manchester City.

“This is good news for us,” said Conte after his side’s third straight Premier League victory. “For sure he needs time to be 100 per cent but for us his recovery is very important.”

Chelsea are in action again on Tuesday night at home to Qarabag in and Hazard could get another run-out in the Champions League group game.

“We all know very well the importance of (Hazard) for us,” Conte added. “Now we must have patience to give him the possibility to improve his form, but I am pleased for him because after a bad injury it’s great to see him with us,” said Conte.

Chelsea will meet Arsenal in the Premier League next Sunday at Stamford Bridge, live on Sky Sports Premier League HD, with the Blues looking for their sixth successive home victory over Arsene Wenger’s side.

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