Chelsea's Eden Hazard faces fitness test but Thibaut Courtois available for visit of Crystal Palace

Matt Law
The Telegraph
Eden Hazard is struggling with a calf injury - Rex Features
Eden Hazard is struggling with a calf injury - Rex Features

Thibaut Courtois will be fit for Chelsea’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace but Eden Hazard will have a fitness test ahead of the weekend.

Goalkeeper Courtois returned to Chelsea early from international duty with Belgium because of a minor hip problem, but the 24-year-old is preparing to face Palace on Saturday.

Hazard missed both of Belgium’s games against Greece and Russia because of the calf injury that kept him out of Chelsea’s victory over Stoke.

The 26-year-old has been undergoing rehabilitation at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground and hopes to return to full training this week.

Chelsea will assess Hazard later this week before head coach Antonio Conte decides whether he is ready for the Palace clash or to hold him back for the visit of Manchester City to Stamford Bridge next Wednesday night.

<span>Thibaut Courtois is available as Crystal Palace travel to Stamford Bridge</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
Thibaut Courtois is available as Crystal Palace travel to Stamford Bridge Credit: Getty Images

Real Madrid have begun their pursuit of Hazard, but, as revealed by Telegraph Sport last week, Chelsea are confident of keeping their star man this summer and are prepared to hand him a new contract.

Hazard on Wednesday confirmed that he and his family are settled near Chelsea’s training complex, when asked where he sees himself living once he retires.

“Maybe I will live in Belgium, to be close to the family, or else I could go somewhere with nice weather,” replied Hazard. “My kids are very settled in London so it could be here, that’s a long way off yet so we will see.”

Hazard currently earns £200,000-a-week, plus bonuses, but Chelsea would be prepared to push him closer to £300,000-a-week to make sure he remains at Stamford Bridge for at least another season.

One player who is not expected to be given a new contract is club captain John Terry, who is believed to have virtually given up hope of playing for Chelsea next season.

Top 20 richest footballers


What to read next