David Luiz has finally been given the all-clear on a knee injury sustained when Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero caught him with a high boot in December.
The Brazilian was on the receiving end of an ugly lunge from Aguero during the closing stages of Chelsea’s 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium in December – an incident which earned the Argentinian a red card.
The defender has been forced to play through the pain barrier ever since – with Luiz regularly taking to the field with his knee under heaving strapping.
However, after a series of consultations, Luiz has been told the knee problem does not require surgery.
After being left out of the Brazil squad for the latest international fixtures, Luiz told the London Evening Standard:
“The international break gives me a good chance to rest my knee. It is a very good thing for me.
“Only I feel the pain so nobody knows [how hard it has been to cope with].
“I won’t need an operation in the summer. But it is very good for me to rest, not just the knee, but the body as well.
“I am disappointed to not be in the Brazil squad, but I respect the decision,” he added.
“I’m playing regularly and trying to do my best to come back [into the squad].
Asked if he has been given an explanation for his continuing exile, he replied: “No.”
Luiz has started 24 of Chelsea’s 28 Premier League games this season, with the club closing in on a first title of Antonio Conte’s reign.