Simeone expects to call on Diego Costa despite training injury

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The ex-Chelsea striker is set to play through the pain barrier against Girona, but his coach does have injury problems in defence

Diego Simeone expects Diego Costa to be fit for Atletico Madrid's La Liga match against Girona, despite the striker aggravating a long-standing foot injury in training.

Atletico are away to Girona on Sunday, but their final preparatory session before the game on Saturday saw Costa visibly in pain and receiving treatment before returning for the final moments of the session with a limp.

The 30-year-old has had a tough season, his goal against Barcelona last week his first in 10 league starts.

But he should have the chance to improve on that record after Simeone gave an update after the training scare, insisting any decision over possible surgery had not been made, with Costa set to play through the pain barrier.

"He has had discomfort in his foot for a while," Simeone said at his pre-match media conference. "What will happen is being decided between the player and the medical team. When we have to report something, we will.

"He is available for us and showing eagerness and enthusiasm in the same way as always. Hopefully he can produce a good game."

Atletico, on a seven-match unbeaten run across all competitions, are third in La Liga, two points behind leaders Sevilla. 

But Girona are only four points behind Atleti and Simeone's four defensive injury doubts - Filipe Luis, Diego Godin, Juanfran and Jose Gimenez - all missed training, working individually in the gym.

Simeone was asked if the injuries meant he would seek defensive reinforcements in January. 

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He said: "What I would like is that they are all available to be more competitive. We have alternatives with Saul [Niguez] and Lucas [Hernandez], we could play with three central defenders. It all comes down to where I see Saul playing better for the game.

"We are going to face a team that plays well. Over the course of the start of the season the coach has found a way to get the best of his players' characteristics.

"That speaks very well of Eusebio [Sacristan, coach of Girona]. It is an idea very different from what he showed in San Sebastian [with Real Sociedad] and has been based on the characteristics that they have. For the last four or five games they have had very good stability."

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