September 25, 2023

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta was set to stay in hospital overnight after being kicked in the head in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Chelsea manager Graham Potter said he expected the Spaniard to remain in hospital for at least 24 hours after he was hit in the face by an attempted overhead kick by Southampton opponent Sékou Mara in the 74th minute.

Azpilicueta was taken off on a stretcher wearing a neck brace and breathing from an oxygen mask after a 10-minute stoppage.

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“Thankfully he’s conscious,” Potter said.

“He’s in hospital. He spoke to his wife, I believe. So we’re just obviously monitoring and very concerned for him. . . . It was not a nice thing to see.”

The 33-year-old Azpilicueta joined Chelsea in 2012 and has helped the club win two Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2021. He was named captain in 2019.

Chelsea lost to Southampton 1-0.

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