Antonio Conte sends patient message to Chelsea fans about Eden Hazard

The Chelsea manager urges Blues supporters to be patient with Eden Hazard following the forward's return from injury

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard Photo: Nike

Antonio Conte has urged Chelsea fans to show patience with Eden Hazard after the forward’s return from an ankle injury.

The Belgium international missed the start of the 2017-17 Premier League season due to a broken ankle which the 26-year-old forward sustained during international duty in May.

Hazard played a key role in helping Chelsea to win the Premier League title in Conte’s first season in charge thanks to a return of 16 goals and five assists in 36 games.

Chelsea made a worrying start to the defence of their crown following a 3-2 loss to Burnley in their opening Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge last month.

The defending champions beat Tottenham Hotspur and Everton in their next two Premier League fixtures before Hazard made his return to top flight action at King Power Stadium.

Hazard replaced Cesc Fabregas for the final 12 minutes in Chelsea’s 2-1 win against Leicester City as the Belgian forward capped his return from injury with a cameo performance.

However, Chelsea boss Conte warned Blues supporters that patience is required with Hazard as the Belgian forward continued his rehabilitation from injury.

“We all know very well the importance of (Hazard) for us,” Conte told his post-match media conference.

“Now we must have patience to give him the possibility to improve his form, but I am pleased for him because after a bad injury it’s great to see him with us.”

Hazard was a key part of the Chelsea teams that won the Premier League title in 2015 and 2017.

The Belgian forward was named the 2015 PFA player of the year.

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