Chelsea’s Eden Hazard to miss start of season after ankle surgery

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard will miss the start of the season after returning to London for surgery on his fractured ankle.

Hazard incurred the injury in training with Belgium at the National Football Centre in Tubize on Sunday and Chelsea have confirmed he will be out for three months.

He was immediately ruled out of their friendly against the Czech Republic on Monday and the World Cup Qualifier in Estonia on June 9.

A subsequent scan revealed the problem to be more serious than first feared, and national team doctor Kris Van Crombrugge estimated he would be out for up to three months, ruling him out of the early weeks of the 2017/18 campaign.

“Hazard suffered a fracture in the bone,” Van Crombrugge said. “Thankfully not in the shin. The scan only showed minimal lesion at the ligaments.

“He will recover in about three months. Eden knows this is very realistic. He remains optimistic, even after this trauma. He will return as a top player. In three months he will just perfect.”

Belgium, who are top of their World Cup qualifying group, two points ahead of Greece, must also do without one of their key players the next two games.

On Sunday, Hazard cast doubt over his Chelsea future by admitting he would have to listen to an offer from Real Madrid if the Champions League winners come calling this summer.

He said: “Of course, I would consider it. I am keen to win trophies. It would be great to win the Champions League. But Chelsea’s goal is to win the Champions League as well. Honestly, I do not know what will happen.”

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