The 27-year-old missed three matches because of the back injuries and on Thursday evening he made his first start since October 20th with Manchester United. Eden Hazard cannot play a full 90 minutes for Chelsea until after the international break against Tottenham. Hazard played for 62 minutes when Chelsea advanced to Europa League knockout stages with victory at BATE Borisov in Belarus, returning as a replacement last Sunday’s victory over Crystal Palace.
The only loss of Chelsea this season came in the Community Shield to Manchester City and Blues won a fourth Europa League game to move on from Group L. Sarri said that Hazard could play for 45 or 50 minutes in Belarus, but Belgium stayed for more than an hour. He was held on for “five minutes more” than planned because Sarri felt Ruben Loftus-Cheek had a problem with his back, which the Blues boss downplayed later.
The Italian added on Hazard: “He is doing well with his back, but of course this is the time he must work on to improve his physical performance.” He interrupted the activity for 10, 12 days. So it is crucial to increase minutes on the ground in a gradual way.”