Costa hope for Chelsea

Chelsea manager upbeat on Spaniard's prospects as he looks forward to Sunday's trip to Old Trafford.

Diego Costa has missed Chelsea's past two games. Darren Walsh / AP Images
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Chelsea striker Diego Costa could climb out of a hospital bed to play at Manchester United on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho has bemoaned the absence of the £32 million (Dh188.6m) signing from Atletico Madrid, who has scored nine goals in seven Premier League games despite a persistent hamstring problem.

Costa, 26, missed the matches with Crystal Palace and Maribor and spent a night in hospital this week, but could feature at Old Trafford.

“Diego has a little chance,” Mourinho said yesterday. “I’m not saying he can [play]. I’m saying that we are trying. We will see what happens between Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Everything happened to him. He was obviously injured and he had to go to the hospital with a viral situation that we didn’t manage to resolve without being in hospital over one night.”

Costa’s recovery from his niggling hamstring problem was delayed by the bout of illness, as he was barred from Chelsea’s Surrey training base.

“The problem is that being ill obviously didn’t help his recovery process because we didn’t want him here at Cobham,” Mourinho said. “The medical staff were going to meet him at his house.”

Loic Remy is out of the Manchester United match after sustaining a groin injury in Chelsea’s 6-0 Uefa Champions League defeat of Maribor on Tuesday night, leaving Didier Drogba as their only fit senior forward ahead of the match at Old Trafford.

Mourinho said: “The only one that I can confirm has no chance is Remy. I would say two weeks, three weeks [out].”

Midfielders John Obi Mikel (foot) and Ramires (groin) could also return alongside Andre Schurrle, who has recovered from illness.

Cesar Azpilicueta is suspended for the first of three matches after his dismissal at Palace for a late tackle, with Brazilian Filipe Luis likely to replace him in defence.

Thibaut Courtois will return in goal in place of Petr Cech, who started against Maribor on Tuesday night.

Mourinho added: “We are playing well, we are confident, we are top of the league, we are in a good position to qualify for the Champions League, the camp is happy and we are ready for the game.”