Two months ago, almost to the day, Eden Hazard suffered a muscle injury that kept him out of action for almost a month. He missed six games because of it. Then, just when it looked like he might return to both form and fitness, he tested positive for the coronavirus. One game missed. Now Real Madrid have revealed that he has another muscle tweak, to his right thigh, after he was subbed off against Alaves a few days ago. This new injury will keep him in the treatment room for at least a fortnight, maybe twice that long.
I’m struggling to think of a footballer who has gone from old boots to chocolate fireguard in this manner. At Chelsea, Hazard was fouled routinely but seemed to have that Maradonaesque quality whereby he simply bounced up and carried on. At Real, he can’t stay fit for a whole month. Shades of Gareth Bale here, who also had a series of injury niggles during his time in Madrid.
You have to wonder about the quality of Real’s gym work, even now, more than a year after a video emerged of their players training in a highly questionable fashion. Something is amiss.
Hazard’s problems started after a poor tackle by Thomas Meunier (a Belgium team-mate) injured his right ankle during Real’s Champions League clash with PSG in April of this year – to rub salt in, Hazard was having his best game for RM. Since then, Hazard hasn’t once looked fit. Every time he tries to play himself back to match fitness, a fresh injury derails him. It’s frustrating for Real fans, of course, but not as frustrating as it must be for Hazard.