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Cesar Azpilicueta: Chelsea captain ‘speaking’ in hospital after head injury, says Graham Potter

Cesar Azpilicueta suffers a head injury
Cesar Azpilicueta was struck in the face by Saints substitute Sekou Mara in the second half

Chelsea manager Graham Potter says captain Cesar Azpilicueta is “conscious” and “speaking” in hospital after suffering a head injury during Saturday’s home defeat by Southampton.

Azpilicueta lay motionless on the pitch after being struck in the face by Sekou Mara as the Saints substitute attempted an overhead kick.

Mara looked shaken as players from both teams and medical staff rushed to the 33-year-old defender’s aid at Stamford Bridge.

Azpilicueta received oxygen treatment for several minutes before being stretchered off, though he was conscious as he left the field.

“It was a bad moment for us,” Potter said. “He’s conscious in hospital and he’s been speaking to his wife.

“We’re monitoring him and making sure he’s OK.

“I think he was unconscious at one point, so it was worrying for everyone. It was accidental but still it was a kick in the face. You can see how bad it was.”

James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick in first-half stoppage time condemned the Blues to their fifth defeat of 2023 and leaves them 10 points off the Premier League top four with 15 league games remaining.

Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea, Southampton, Sekou Mara
Cesar Azpilicueta was able to applaud the Chelsea supporters as he was carried from the field

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