Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has revealed that Eden Hazard is 'tired' and will play no part in the Blues' Europa League opener against PAOK on Thursday.
As reported by the Independent, the Belgium international told Sarri after the international break, and again after the 4-1 win over Cardiff - a game that the 27-year-old scored a hat-trick in - that he was feeling tired.
The news comes as no real surprise given the former Lille forward's lack of a solid pre-season, having captained Belgium to third place at the World Cup in the summer.
Sarri said: "He told me after the national team [duty earlier this month] and the match against Cardiff he was a little bit tired, so I thought it was better to stay at Cobham, to have training and rest."
Hazard was allowed to delay his post-World Cup return until after the Community Shield fixture against Manchester City on August 5.
Even after his return, he began the first two games of the season on the bench, before scoring five goals in the three Premier League starts that followed.
The former Napoli boss also revealed that Brazilian defender David Luiz and Croatia international Mateo Kovacic will play no part in the European opener, due to fatigue and injury respectively.
In the trio's absence, a few fringe players will be hoping to get an opportunity, none more so than Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The England international was declined a move away in the summer as he was allegedly told that the club had first team plans for him, although he is still finding game time hard to come by at Stamford Bridge.
When asked if Loftus-Cheek, who spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace, will play against PAOK, Sarri said: “Loftus-Cheek is a very good player but I don’t know if there is a spot for him.
“Now it is very difficult.”