Diego Costa Injury: Updates on Atletico Madrid Star's Thigh, Likely Return Date

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent INovember 11, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 14: Diego Costa (L) of Atletico de Madrid competes for the ball with Jose Antonio Garcia Rabasco (R) of UD Almeria during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and UD Almeria at Vicente Calderon Stadium on September 14, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is expected to be absent from the Spanish national team this week after suffering a thigh strain in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Villarreal, according to Football Espana.

The 25-year-old was called up for Spain's upcoming friendly showdowns with Equatorial Guinea and South Africa and was expected to make his debut for the reigning World Cup champions. Instead, he'll likely be replaced by veteran forward Fernando Llorente, per Football Espana.    

Costa's injury comes at an unfortunate time. Recently, he's caught the eye of football fans around the globe with his strong play at the club level for Atletico. He's scored 13 goals in 13 La Liga matches this season and trails only Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo among the league's top goalscorers.      

Costa, who was born in Brazil, has yet to appear on the international stage for La Roja. However, he's made two appearances for the Brazil national team this year. 

Recently, Costa shifted his focus away from his home country and to the Spanish national team, drawing criticism from many.

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