Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata is set to miss the whole of October and possibly November after the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed that the striker had suffered a Grade II tear in his hamstring.
“Alvaro Morata has suffered a ‘grade II myofascial injury’ to the hamstring muscles,” the RFEF revealed on Monday after getting the 24-year-old scanned at their facility in Madrid.
Morata pulled up clutching his leg in the first-half of Chelsea’s home tie with Manchester City on Saturday and his absence proved key as the Blues fell to a 1-0 defeat to fall six points behind the Manchester clubs in the Premier League title race.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte calmed fears of a lengthy absence in his post-match presser by asserting the decision to sub the forward was more of a precautionary measure than anything else but the RFEF’s revelation has come as a huge blow for the Blues.
Chelsea’s fixtures in October: Crystal Palace (away), Roma (Champions League-home), Watford (home), Everton (League Cup-home) and Bournemouth (away).
Chelsea’s fixtures in November: Roma (Champions League-away), Manchester United (home), West Bromwich Albion (away), Qarabag FK (Champions League-away), Liverpool (away) and Swansea City (home).
The Spanish federation’s revelation makes Morata a major doubt for the Champions League double-header with Serie A side and the Premier League home clash with Manchester United (November 5).
Morata’s absence could derail Chelsea’s title defence for since his arrival for a club-record £60 million in the summer, the Spaniard has banged in an impressive seven goals in just nine appearances.
The Blues have a single recognised back-up striker in their squad, Michy Batshuayi, who has impressed with his cameos off the bench but it remains to be seen if Conte considers the Belgian good enough to warrant a start.
Last season, when main striker Diego Costa was injured or suspended, Conte opted to play a false-nine formation with Eden Hazard leading the line despite having Batshuayi available.