Alvaro Morata return date unclear, Antonio Conte says
By Danny Gallagher
Last Updated: 09/02/18 3:12pm
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte admits he is unsure how long Alvaro Morata will be out for.
Conte has confirmed Chelsea are still in the dark regarding the true extent of Morata's back pains, and are unable to put any time-frame on the striker's absence.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea's Monday Night Football match with West Brom, live on Sky Sports, Conte revealed he had little idea when he would next be able to select his £70m record signing.
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"Players like Morata, for us, are very important and have been missing for a long period of time. I don't know how long he will be out," said Conte.
"We are struggling a lot to find a solution to solve the pain in his back.
"If you ask me whether he needs a day, a month or the rest of the season, I don't know. I don't know. For this reason, I'm a bit worried. You know very well the importance of the player."
Morata's injury coincides with Chelsea's decision to allow Michy Batshuayi to join Borussia Dortmund on loan, though Conte refuses to look back over previous choices.
He added: "Now the transfer market is finished. It's finished. We took a decision. Now I think this is not important to say 'we could have done this' or 'we should have done that'.
"We have to focus on the present to finish the season in the best way possible, and not to have regrets for anything."
One player who has featured for Chelsea, and struggled in the process, is Tiemoue Bakayoko.
The Frenchman has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, though Conte believes his age and time to adapt explains the slow start.
"He's only 22 years old. But don't forget, last season, he won the title in France with Monaco. He played Champions League with Monaco," said Conte.
"To arrive in this league, and to adapt yourself quickly, is not simple. Not simple. But my task is to try to help him, but not only him: every single player. To improve and understand the situation."
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