Football: Mourinho expects Costa to be fit to play in closing weeks of Chelsea's campaign

COBHAM, England (AFP) - Jose Mourinho is confident Diego Costa will recover from his latest hamstring injury in time to feature in the final three weeks of Chelsea's Premier League run-in.

The Spain international, the English top-flight's joint leading scorer so far this term with 19 goals, has been ruled out of league leaders Chelsea's short trip to west London rivals QPR on Sunday.

His absence comes after he managed just 10 minutes in last weekend's victory over Stoke City, having come on as a half-time substitute.

Costa has suffered problems with his hamstring throughout the season and the way he limped off against Stoke raised fears he would be sidelined for the rest of the campaign.

But Chelsea manager Mourinho expects the forward to be fit in time for the home clash with Crystal Palace on May 3.

Asked if Costa would feature again this season, he told reporters at Chelsea's training ground on Friday: "Certainly. Sure. I think we have eight matches to play. If he plays four, it's normal.

"If he plays three, it's a little bit below what I'm expecting. If he plays five, it's more than I'm expecting. I'm thinking about four matches to play," he said.