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Hazard ruled out of Europa League final

ESPN staff
May 14, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

Eden Hazard is out of the Chelsea side for Wednesday's Europa League final in Amsterdam, interim manager Rafa Benitez has confirmed.

The Belgian suffered a hamstring injury during the Londoners' 2-1 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday, and will not recover in time to play.

However, Benitez said Chelsea were continuing to assess John Terry's ankle injury, also suffered against Villa.

Speaking to the press as he prepared his side for the Amsterdam ArenA clash with Benfica, the manager said: "Hazard will not be available. John, we will try and see how he feels. We will try to see tomorrow.''

Terry, 32, missed Chelsea's Champions League final win over Bayern Munich last season through suspension, and now faces the prospect of having to sit out a second European showpiece.

"It's not easy for him,'' Benitez said. "It's not the best injury, but will see tomorrow with the medical staff, and afterwards we will decide.''

But Hazard's injury means Frank Lampard - who, like Terry, would not have been a guaranteed starter on Wednesday in any case - is more likely to play, especially because John Obi Mikel is also a doubt with a hip problem.

If Terry is ruled out, Lampard is likely to captain the Blues just days after becoming their all-time record goalscorer thanks to his brace against Villa.

Lampard, who could leave the club in the summer, said: "I don't know what the future exactly holds, but it doesn't matter tomorrow night. It's about winning the game.''

Striker Demba Ba is ineligible to play for Chelsea in the final, having featured for his former club Newcastle earlier in the Europa League.

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