Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes striker Diego Costa can now put his injury problems behind him and will be back in prime condition when the Premier League resumes after the international break.
The Spain international has been plagued by hamstring and pelvic injuries since joining from Atletico Madrid for £32million but that has not stopped him scoring 10 goals already, including the winner in the 2-1 victory against Liverpool on Saturday.
Costa has been left out of the national squad for a Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus next week and a friendly against Germany three days later.
By the time the league campaign resumes at home to West Brom on November 22, Mourinho expects his star man to be firing on all cylinders.
“I think Spain made a fantastic decision not just for us but for them,” he said.
“He has 15 days to get to the top of his game and when they need him they will get a good Diego not a bad one.
“Maybe the injury was good because it stopped him. When he became injured he had time to recover, step-by-step, and at this moment he is in a good condition.”
Mourinho also hopes the international break will give midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Ramires time to recover from hamstring and abductor problems respectively after risking them at Anfield.
“I need to give credit to them – they both played injured, risked everything to play,” he added.
“Fabregas gambled and I gambled. He can join up with Spain but he will be back (as he is not fit).”
Unbeaten Chelsea maintained their four-point lead at the top of the table with a ninth win in 11 matches and stretched a remarkable 15 points ahead of Liverpool, runners-up last season.
The Reds were not realistically expected to contend this campaign but even without them in the running, Mourinho knows there is plenty to be done before his team can even entertain thoughts of the title.
“If this was the Spanish, Portuguese or German league where you have two teams competing to be champion, if you leave one team 15 points behind you are almost there but this is England and every match is difficult,” he added.
“It is not about Liverpool, there is Man City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Southampton.
“We are in a good situation, we have already played the four matches in Liverpool and Manchester, four very difficult matches away, but it is the beginning of November so there is a long way to go.”