Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho reiterated his concerns over striker Diego Costa’s hamstring following the Blues’ 1-1 draw at home to Schalke in UEFA Champions League Group G play on Wednesday. After the game, which Costa started on the bench, Mourinho suggested his star striker isn’t fit to start more than one game a week. In fact, Costa, who came on for Didier Drogba, featured for less than 20 minutes in a match that saw Mourinho’s men squander several opportunities to put the game beyond their German opponent.
After the game, Mourinho insisted that he was not saving Costa for Sunday’s trip to Premier League champ Manchester City. "It was not to protect Costa for the game on Sunday, it was because he was not in condition to start the game," the Portuguese tactician said, adding: “Playing on Saturday, three days is not enough for him to recover. If he has one week to let the muscle recover he can start."
Costa re-injured his troublesome hamstring while playing for Spain on Sept 4. The Brazilian-born striker then passed a late fitness test to play in Chelsea’s 4-2 home win against Swansea last Saturday, a match where he scored three goals. Drogba, his replacement from the start for Wednesday’s Group G opener, looked rusty against the German team, missing several chances to score. "I'm not disappointed with the striker because of one inch, he scores a goal or doesn't score a goal," Mourinho said. "I am happy with what he did.”