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Diego Costa: Atlético striker could miss most of 2019-20

The Spain forward has been diagnosed with a herniated cervical disc and will undergo further tests to determine the length of time he will be out.

El delantero hispano-brasileño del Atlético de Madrid, Diego Costa, durante un entrenamiento.
Javier GandulDiario AS

Atlético Madrid striker Diego Costa could be out for most of the 2019-20 season after the club detected a herniated cervical disc. Costa, who will undergo further tests with neurosurgery specialists in the coming days to determine the extent of the problem and the Spain forward could be out of action until April.

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Atlético released a statement on Thursday to the effect that Costa would be examined and assessed to see if he requires surgery or not. However, medical sources consulted by AS said that due to his playing style, position and particularly because of his aerial prowess, the most likely course of treatment will require months to pay dividends. The main source of concern is to discover whether or not the injury is affecting a nerve.

“If the hernia is a small one then conservative treatment will be sufficient but if it affects the nerve then it will require surgery and will be complicated,” the sources confirmed.

Atlético relying on Morata in absence of Joao Félix

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Costa has been playing without any apparent discomfort and has been available for selection by Diego Simeone throughout the season after missing Atlético’s first two league games against Getafe and Leganés due to a suspension and a groin strain. The striker has played 15 games and scored two goals so far and also provided an assist in Atlético’s 3-1 victory over Espanyol last weekend.

Simeone is already missing Joao Félix, who is out with a sprained ankle, and has been reliant on the goals of Álvaro Morata to guide the side through recent weeks, the Spain striker finding the net in six consecutive matches for the first time in his senior career.

Although Atlético sit third in LaLiga, Simeone’s side have one of the lowest goals-for totals in the division. Only seven sides have scored fewer goals, six of whom occupy positions between 20th and 13th. Osasuna, Levante, Getafe and Granada have all scored more frequently than Atlético and if Costa’s injury rules him out for some time Simeone will be forced into the transfer market in January.


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