West London Sport

Morata set to return to training

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Alvaro Morata is close to a return after his back injury but boss Antonio Conte has hinted that the Spanish striker is unlikely to be back in time to play against Bournemouth on Wednesday.

Stand-in striker Michy Batshuayi scored twice as the Blues beat Newcastle 3-0 in the FA Cup fourth round at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

And with Willian also still struggling with a hamstring problem, Conte has limited attacking options meaning Batshuayi is favourite to continue in the main striking role.

“Morata is probably going to start training from Monday,” Conte said. “After a period of rest then he is going to start and for sure after an injury of this type he needs a bit of time to recover.

“But we hope to have this player very soon.”

Summer signing Morata has 13 goals in 23 starts and a total of 31 appearances for the Blues this season.

Batshuayi’s double against the Newcastle means the Belgian has 10 goals in 11 first-team starts – from a total of 25 games this season.