LONDON: English Premier League (EPL) club Chelsea coach Antonio Conte has said that he doesn't know how much longer injured striker Alvaro Morata will be sidelined.
The Spaniard, who joined Chelsea from Real Madrid last summer for a club record 70 million pounds ($96.53 million), has been out for weeks with a back injury, reports Efe.
"Players like Morata, for us, are very important and have been missing for a long period of time. I don't know how long he will be out," Conte said during the press conference on Friday ahead of the Blues' EPL match against West Bromwich Albion.
"We are struggling a lot to find a solution to solve the pain in his back. If you ask me whether he needs a day, a month or the rest of the season, I don't know. For this reason, I'm a bit worried. You know very well the importance of the player," the coach added.
The absence of Morata coincides with Michy Batshuayi's move to Borussia Dortmund on loan, a decision that Conte downplayed.
"Now the transfer market is finished. It's finished. We took a decision. Now I think this is not important to say 'we could have done this' or 'we should have done that'," the Italian manager said.
On the last day of the winter transfer window, Chelsea signed French striker Olivier Giroud from Arsenal.