Antonio Conte has given an update on the injuries of Eden Hazard and Tiemoue Bakayoko ahead of Chelsea’s defence of the Premier League title.
Hazard broke his ankle while on international duty with Belgium, while Bakayoko is carrying a knee injury that has seen him miss the pre-season tour to the Far East.
Both players are expected to miss the start of the campaign as they look to recover back the Blues’ training ground in Cobham with the team’s medical staff.
However, Conte confirmed that while they were progressing, it may still be difficult for them to start to new season.
Conte said: “It is difficult to say because arrive after a bad injury, after ankle surgery, it is not easy to programme the date to come back. We hope for them to recover very well. Their is recovering very well. You know the importance of these players.
“We will not rush them back as every player must be in the best of form to play, otherwise they are put in a bad position which could be damaging for the team.
“Bakayoko is in a similar position like Eden. For me it is very important to the players to understand my idea of football. For Bakayoko, for example, at the moment he doesn’t know anything about my idea of football.
“For sure, he needs a bit of time to adapt and understand and this is the great difficulty for a coach that has an idea of football and wants to give an identity.
“When you take a player you need a bit of time to bring the player into your idea. It is the same now for Morata and for Rudiger. For sure, if the player arrives as soon as possible, it is easy for me.”
Hazard has been linked with another move away from Stamford Bridge this summer, with reports from Spain that Barcelona are interested in the winger.
The Catalans’ top target is Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, however if they can’t get him then they are expected to make a move for Hazard.
However, the Blues boss was not concerned about the link for his star man.
“I don’t know anything about this situation. In the past I read a lot of stories about Hazard with Real Madrid. And now Barcelona,” Conte added. “But this is the transfer market, we must understand this.
“Yes. He is very happy to stay with us and to play for Chelsea.”