News Live Scores
Atlético Madrid

Atletico Madrid star Diego Costa ruled out for three months

3:45 PM WAT 14/11/2019
Diego Costa Atletico Madrid 2019-20
The former Chelsea hitman will not play again until 2020, while it could be April before he returns if the worst fears are realised

Diego Costa has been diagnosed with a cervical disc herniation in a fresh blow to goal-shy Atletico Madrid.

Scans undertaken in recent days identified the issue, which relates to the spine, but a rehabilitation programme has not yet been formulated.

Atletico said the 31-year-old requires special neurosurgery assessment before the full scale of the injury can be established.

"The medical services of the club have conducted radiological tests of Diego Costa to assess the cervical discomfort suffered in recent days," read an Atletico statement.

"These tests have determined that the forward suffers a cervical disc herniation.

"In the next few days he will be evaluated by specialists in neurosurgery to establish the definitive treatment."

While Atleti have been reticent to put a timescale on the Spain international's recovery from the injury, reports suggest that he could be sidelined for at least three months, while if the injury proves to be of the more serious variety, it could be April before he is seen on the field again.

Former Chelsea striker Costa trained earlier this week after appearing for the final 10 minutes of Atletico's 3-1 win over Espanyol on Sunday.

Prior to that match, Diego Simeone's men had managed 12 goals in as many games in La Liga in a lean start to the new season.

Costa has found the net twice from 15 appearances in all competitions this term.

Atleti, meanwhile, have struggled this season primarily because they have failed to get their offence firing following the summer departure of Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona.

Alvaro Morata is their leading scorer this season with a mere seven goals in all competitions, but beyond him they are toiling, with youngster Joao Felix posting three strikes to his name following a big-money summer move from Benfica.

In total, Simeone’s men have netted only 15 times in the Primera Division from 13 matches this term – a record that is the second poorest in the top 12, with only Athletic Club posting a poorer figure.

Nevertheless, their stout defence, which has leaked only eight times, has allowed them to climb to third in the standings behind Barcelona and Real Madrid, who are just a point better off, albeit having played a game fewer.