Updates from Wednesday, June 11
AS passed along comments from Koke on Diego Costa's status for the World Cup:
Updates from Saturday, June 7
Inside La Liga reports Diego Costa has returned to the lineup:
Updates from Wednesday, June 4
Diego Costa has been seen training, and scoring, alongside his Spain team-mates as he continues his bid for full fitness ahead of the World Cup.
101 Great Goals tweeted the video, which can be viewed below:
Updates from Sunday, June 1
Tim Hanlon of Reuters, via Marca, provides a statement from Diego Costa discussing his injury status:
I hope to have some minutes next week against El Salvador in Washington.
I have been working with the physios and I feel very good. From tomorrow I will work with the rest of the team and with Vicente del Bosque.
I am looking forward to going to the World Cup and I am very happy. Our aim is to win it of course and we will be fighting for that.
Updates from Friday, May 30
Diego Costa is set to have a scan on Friday before Spain announce on Saturday whether he will go to the World Cup.
Vicente del Bosque outlined the plan for both Costa and Jesus Navas, quoted by AS's Joaquin Maroto saying:
"It looks promising. On Friday they will have a scan. If it’s good, we will make a decision on Saturday morning."
Updates from Thursday, May 29
Diego Costa appears set to miss the World Cup after Vicente del Bosque confessed the situation does not look positive.
Del Bosque was quoted by Joaquin Maroto of AS saying: “I’m not sure that Costa will make it."
The Spain boss added: “We’ve still got time but now it’s in the hands of the doctors and the medical team. We have to be cautious."
Updates from Tuesday, May 27
Vicente del Bosque will give Diego Costa until June 2 to prove his fitness ahead of Spain's World Cup defence.
Costa is facing a race against time to be fit for the Brazil showpiece, and Del Bosque told El Larguero he would wait as long as possible before naming his final 23-man squad.
Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC provides the quotes:
[Costa] has a muscular injury and we are watching how it develops and will decide at the last moment. We have until June 2 to give the list of 23 so there is no need to rush. I hope he is there, but we also have other good options.
We have agreed that Diego Costa will come to recover at the [Spanish FA's] Ciudad Deportiva and we will decide on Friday 30. I said I would like everyone to be in good condition on June 2. I am not saying there could not be an exception, but we would like everyone to be OK by then.
Updates from Monday, May 26
FIFA reports the timetable for Diego Costa's recovery and what it could mean for his chances at playing in the World Cup:
FIFA.com later had more information on Costa's status:
After the tests, doctor Pedro Guillen told Cadena Cope radio that the 25-year-old had suffered a grade one tear in the femoral biceps of his right leg and would need to rest for 15 days before the injury is re-evaluated.
"Diego Costa is still carrying the injury, a micro-tear in the hamstring," Guillen, who examined the player, was quoted as saying by the Spanish press. That would rule Costa out of Spain's pre-World Cup friendlies against Bolivia and El Salvador and has cast further doubts over the striker's chances of going to Brazil.
Updates from Saturday, May 24
Mirror Football provides an update on Diego Costa's appearance in the Champions League final:
SUB: Costa off for Atletico. Adrian on. Well that went well http://t.co/k3JhWHt9dx— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) May 24, 2014
Updates from Thursday, May 22
Atlético Madrid's final training session before they go to Lisbon ended on a good note. The two injured players, Diego Costa and Arda Turan, trained with the group. The session started at 18:00 and there were no absentees.
Updates from Wednesday, May 21
Diego Costa will reportedly turn to the controversial methods of Marijana Kovacevic in one last attempt to be fit for Atletico Madrid's Champions League final clash with Real.
The Daily Mail's Rik Sharma reports:
Diego Costa has flown to Belgrade to see 'miracle doctor' Marijana Kovacevic in a desperate attempt to be fit for the biggest match of his career.
The Serb uses placenta to help players recover quickly from muscle injuries and on Saturday Costa wants to play for Atletico Madrid against Real Madrid in the Champions League final. ...
... Costa will rejoin the Atletico squad on Wednesday after flying back from Serbia.
Updates from Tuesday, May 20
Diego Costa is desperately trying to play in the Champions League final, and 101 Great Goals has the latest news on what his next step is:
Updates from Monday, May 19
Diego Simeone discussed Diego Costa's thigh injury and the chances that he'll play in Saturday's Champions League final (via Eurosport):
Diego Simeone on his star striker's injury: "We will work for have Diego Costa available on Saturday, but it’s really difficult”— Eurosport.com EN (@EurosportCom_EN) May 19, 2014
Updates from Saturday, May 17
Atletico has released today's starting lineup, per the Football Espana Twitter account:
Atleti XI to face Barca: Courtois, Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe Luis, Tiago, Gabi, Koke, Arda Turan, Villa, Diego Costa.— footballespana (@footballespana_) May 17, 2014
Diego Costa was officially back in action, but he didn't last long, according to ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan:
Costa looks gone! Cant run onto a Koke pass, puts hand in air to call for attention then slumps to turf...— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 17, 2014
AS English reports on Costa's actions on the bench:
Diego Costa is in floods of tears on the bench.— AS English (@English_AS) May 17, 2014
Eurosport.com speculates on the future of Costa:
INJURY! Diego Costa's hamstring seems to have gone. Looks like he could be out today (and also in the CL final next week too)— Eurosport.com EN (@EurosportCom_EN) May 17, 2014
The Spanish Twitter account, which translates to "Home of Football," snapped a picture of Costa on the sideline:
Updates from Friday, May 16
Diego Costa has been declared fit to face Barcelona in Atletico Madrid's La Liga title decider on Saturday.
Diego Simeone held a press conference on Friday, from which ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan simply tweeted:
Simeone: "Diego Costa is fine. He will start tomorrow's game."— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 16, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, May 14
Diego Costa will be fit for Atletico Madrid's title decider against Barcelona, according to Marca's David G. Medina.
Under a headline of "Doctors Give Costa All Clear," Medina writes:
A meeting took place on Monday at the club's training ground in Majadahonda to check on the physical condition of the player. As well as Costa, Simeone was present along with the assistant coach, the head of the club's medical staff, the fitness coach and club physiotherapist. The objective was to put in place a plan, together with the player, to make sure he would be fit to run out at the Camp Nou on Saturday.
Costa worked in the gym and out on the pitch to check his fitness and the results could not have been more positive, leading the doctors to give the thumbs up on his chances of playing against Barcelona.
Updates from Sunday, May 11
Diego Costa is not in Atletico Madrid's starting lineup today (via Football Espana):
Atleti XI to face Malaga: Courtois; Juanfran, Alderweireld, Miranda, F. Luis; Tiago, Koke, Gabi, Arda; Raúl García; Villa. NO DIEGO COSTA— footballespana (@footballespana_) May 11, 2014
Diego Costa is a doubt for Atletico Madrid's remaining two La Liga games and could miss the Champions League final after the club confirmed (in Spanish) they are monitoring his thigh injury.
Anton Toloui of Sky World News reported the news, while Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC confirmed the details:
“Diego Costa has grade I muscle injury in his right hamstring, but no tear." Atletico club statement just released: http://t.co/PqrPhrx5FC— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 9, 2014
Costa, who played 90 minutes during Atletico's shock loss to Levante, has established himself as Diego Simeone's key player after the summer sale of Radamel Falcao. His 35 goals in 42 appearances across the domestic division and Champions League has Atletico on the brink of winning both, per WhoScored.com.
Currently three points clear of Barcelona and four ahead of Real, Atletico need a win and draw from their final two matches to confirm a terrific La Liga triumph. Unfortunately for Simeone's side, a trip to the Camp Nou awaits on the last day of the season, suggesting the title may be secured for either club during the final match of the campaign.
Atletico face Malaga on Sunday before travelling to Catalonia on May 18. The Champions League final takes place six days after this momentous clash, suggesting Costa faces a race against time if he is to have any further impact on Atletico's trophy hunt.
Simeone will be confident of overcoming Malaga without their star man, perhaps pushing Adrian further forward after his goal against Chelsea, but Costa is needed for the latter two matches.
Nobody in Atletico's squad possesses the pace, power and lethality of the Spanish international. He boasts the dribbling skills and raw power to burst beyond Barcalona's wardrobe-legged centre-backs, while his ability to gobble up chances is vital to beating a Real side that has conceded three and scored seven in four meetings between the teams this season.
Costa netted the winner during Atletico's 1-0 victory over their city rivals in November. His 11th-minute strike at the Bernabeu proved enough for the resilient side to hang onto, despite the considerable talents of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema itching to make their mark on the score.
Simeone's leading man epitomises the work rate and doggedness that has aided Atletico's ascension to the forefront of Spanish football. Costa's energy is rewarded with his teammates opening plenty of opportunities and bombing forward to attack when the opportunity arises. Without their spearhead, Atletico's well-rounded game loses some of its offensive potency.
Can Atletico Madrid win the Champions League final if Diego Costa is deemed unfit?
While it remains to be seen just how long Costa will be out for, his thigh injury will undoubtedly have Simeone and the supporters worried. Plenty of rest is needed if he is to return with full intensity, perhaps a difficult feat at this nail-biting time of the year.
Costa has struggled through niggling fitness problems throughout the campaign. If his battling character is anything to go by, his spirit will drag him onto the pitch during a trio of games that will define whether Atletico's 2013-14 is historic or a memorable disappointment.