Eden Hazard Plays Down Injury Fears Ahead of Chelsea vs. Tottenham

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28:  Eden Hazard of Chelsea controls the ball ahead of Kyle Walker of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at White Hart Lane on September 28, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard has allayed fears over his fitness after picking up an injury whilst on international duty for Belgium.

Kristof Terreur of Sky Sports writes that the influential player should be available for his club's home visit of Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening. 

Hazard picked up an ankle injury as his country drew 2-2 with Ivory Coast. He was caught by Newcastle's Cheick Tiote in a challenge.

Terreur reports that Hazard said to Het Laatste Nieuws:

"It hurt, but I think I can play this weekend. After 20 seconds I got a kick. A nice welcome, but I'm not worried about the injury."

The player also said of his current form and conditioning:

I'm not that tired. In the first half against Fulham I felt it a bit, but in the second I found my flow back. I don't need that much rest, I'm at my best when I can play a lot of games. But I've to be careful that I don't burn myself.

I'm in super form. Something you see in the stats and in my consistency. I see similarities with my last season in Lille.

Hazard has been Chelsea's best player this season, contributing 12 goals towards their Premier League campaign and creating 77 chances, per Squawka.

ESPN.co.uk tweeted about Hazard's and Jose Mourinho's expectations of the player and his development curve into one of the world's best players:

2013/14 has been a breakout season for Hazard, and he has taken over Juan Mata's throne as Stamford Bridge's most important player. The ability and work rate he has shown has been second to none, and if Chelsea manage to claim an unlikely title this year, he will be the reason why. 

Mourinho could see the difference between Mata and Hazard, and the Belgian fits the former Real Madrid coach's idea of a wider attacker more than the Spanish midfielder. With the interchanging between Oscar and Willian behind the striker, the club are in a position to have one of the best front lines in European football over the next few years.

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

However, it is questionable if Hazard could really become a player in the class of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Both of those two individuals only appear fleetingly every generation, and Hazard has a lot to prove if he can ever be considered in the same bracket.

But he is on his way to some form of greatness.

When he chose Chelsea over the pack of clubs chasing him before, eyebrows were raised.

If the Blues capture the Premier League title this season, his decision will have been fully justified.