Radamel Falcao return for Chelsea still has no timeline - Hiddink
LONDON -- Guus Hiddink has said he doesn't know when Radamel Falcao will be fit to return for Chelsea as the on-loan Colombia international continues to struggle with injuries and admits the team could face a striker crisis if Diego Costa or Loic Remy were to sustain injuries.
Falcao has made just 11 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea since picking up what former boss Jose Mourinho described as "an important muscular injury" in November, and Hiddink confirmed last month that the 29-year-old had suffered a setback in his recovery.
Last week ESPN FC reported that Falcao had flown to parent club Monaco for assessment of his condition, and the Ligue 1 club's vice president Vadim Vasilyev subsequently confirmed that the striker's loan would not be terminated in January as he still has "six to eight weeks to go" in his rehabilitation.
Hiddink, however, remains in the dark as to when Falcao may again be fully fit and available for selection.
"He's just with the physios working," Hiddink said in a news conference on Tuesday. "What he's doing is purely medical. He's not on the [training] pitch, he's completely in the doctors' and physios' hands.
"When he's declared fit it will take time to get him game fit, so it will last days or weeks. I don't know [when he will be back]."
Better news for Hiddink is the fact that Diego Costa is fit to start against West Brom on Wednesday despite sustaining a knee contusion during Sunday's FA Cup third round victory over Scunthorpe United, while Loic Remy is also back in the matchday squad as he steps up his recovery from a persistent calf problem.
"With this multitude of games [over the festive period] I hope Remy picks it up," Hiddink admitted. "Although he was only in training this week I hope he will deliver if he is needed. We have Costa and him, so I hope they stay fit. That's why I hope he can make his next step and get even more fit."
When asked if there was any possibility of Remy leaving Chelsea on loan in January, Hiddink replied: "At this moment, no. He will stay until the end of the season."
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In fact, the Dutchman refused to comment on any transfer speculation, with Baggies striker Saido Berahino among those to be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in recent weeks and months.
"The window opens and the mouth shuts, so we don't have interest in this moment," Hiddink added. "We are thinking. When you think, you don't speak normally. If, suppose something is going on, it can be harmful when you go public."
Nemanja Matic, who missed the Scunthorpe win having been struck in the head by a ball in training on Saturday, is available to face West Brom. So too is Oscar, who was substituted at half-time on Sunday with pain in his toe.