Eden Hazard could miss start of Chelsea's Premier League title defence after fractured ankle

The playmaker picked up the injury while preparing for Belgium's upcoming World Cup qualifier

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The Independent Football

Eden Hazard may miss the beginning of Chelsea’s title defence next season after fracturing his right ankle.

The Chelsea forward picked up the injury while training with the Belgium national team on Sunday as they prepared for their World Cup qualifier in Estonia on Friday.

He was also due to take on Czech Republic in an international friendly on Monday night.

No timeframe has been put on the injury but it is expected that it will take Hazard around eight weeks before he can play again, thus ruling him out of Chelsea’s entire preseason and leaving him touch-and-go for starting next season’s campaign.

The 2017/18 campaign starts in less than 10 weeks on August 12 - but three weeks before that there are pre-season games against Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in Singapore from July 22-29, then the Community Shield against the Gunners on August 6.

A tweet from the Belgian national team read: “Medical imaging showed that hazardeden10 has a fracture in his right ankle #belcze #estbel #roadtorussia.”

Earlier on Sunday the Hazard had said he would be happy to stay at Stamford Bridge - but admitted an approach from Real Madrid would be considered.

Asked if he would like to see an offer, the 26-year-old, who has three years left on his contract at Stamford Bridge, told the Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper: “Of course, that's all.

“We all dream. It could be Spain, it could be staying with Chelsea.

“I think I can stay with Chelsea for many years, but it's not something I'm thinking about right now. We'll see.

“Previously we talked about PSG (Paris St Germain), now about (Real) Madrid, next year it will be a different club.

“In football you never know, but at the moment it's not in my mind. I'm a Chelsea player, I have another contract for three years. We'll see.”

Asked if he watched Real's Champions League win against Juventus, Hazard continued: “Yes, but if I ever wanted to go to Real, I could get there (and be) on the bench. I want the best solution for myself.”

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