The Chelsea midfielder was preparing with the national side ahead of the next round of World Cup qualifying matches before he was halted in his tracks by an Achilles problem.
Chelsea have reportedly been managing the problem with a series of injections designed to control the injury and allow the young Belgian to play on.
“Hazard was fit, but after a few minutes during training he was suffering from an old injury to the Achilles tendon. A few weeks ago he apparently received some injections to treat the injury. I was indeed surprised, because he was in good shape,” said Wilmots.
It will be a lingering worry for Chelsea and a reason they are likely to have included a call back clause in the loan deal which saw Victor Moses move up to the North West to play for Liverpool.
Problems which are managed and doctored to get a player through a period of time won’t go away meaning at some point this season, Chelsea will likely have to face a spell without Hazard available in the side.
Considering just how important Hazard is to the current side, it’s likely that any spell out of the team will come sooner rather than later because surely Jose Mourinho wouldn’t want to prolong the issue.
Fortunately for Mourinho, he has one of the best squads of midfield players in the Premier League plus the option to call back Moses if a clause was included in that loan deal.
The most likely player to fill in down the left for Chelsea would be one of the club’s most recent signings Willian.
Willian did play down the left of midfield in his Shakhtar Donetsk days and he’s a very similar player to Hazard in terms of his skill as a wide player, cutting inside to support the main players in attack.
Andre Schurrle is an obvious candidate to play out wide for the Blues because the German does have a lot of experience playing as a winger plus his pace and skill on the ball makes him dangerous in wide areas.
Kevin De Bruyne also has experience of playing wide on either side of the midfield and Mourinho has shown every indication he plans to use De Bruyne regularly over the course of the season.
Moses potential return depends on a number of things with Mourinho’s reluctance to play some of his current midfield options out of position, high on the agenda.
It also relies heavily on him playing a lot of first team football under Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool because it would be pointless for Chelsea to call him back and then use him, if he hadn’t had much game time for his loan club.
What do you think? Who will play down the left when Hazard’s unavailable?
image: © Ben Sutherland