Chelsea defender David Luiz has been described as “a warrior” by manager Antonio Conte, who afforded his squad some time off this week following a hectic schedule.
Luiz has become a fixture in Chelsea’s three-man defence alongside Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta, despite struggling with a knee problem.
That did not prevent him smashing in a 30-yard free-kick in last month’s 1-1 draw at Liverpool and Conte has hailed the Brazilian’s commitment to the cause.
“He’s playing with a little pain in his knee, but he’s a warrior,” said Conte ahead of Sunday’s trip to Burnley.
“He’s playing very well and I hope he can continue this way. He has a great attitude and a great will to fight despite sometimes having a bit of pain.”
The clash at Turf Moor comes at the end of a week which saw Conte allow his players some extra time off to recharge their batteries following gruelling Premier League encounters against Liverpool and Arsenal.
And the Italian – who used the time to travel to Turin and watch former club Juventus take on Inter in Serie A – emphasised the importance of unwinding in the midst of a busy campaign.
“After the game against Arsenal I wanted to give them a break of one more day off because I thought they deserved this because we had an intensive week with three games in seven days,” he said.
“It’s important. There are different moments – there are moments to work very hard and I think in this season you have a lot of times when you have to work very hard.
“But sometimes there is a moment when it’s important also to have days off to relax and for your family, to come back fresher.
“If the players want to go and relax in different countries [that’s okay], the important thing is they come back in the right way with the right attitude.”