Diego Costa will sit out Atletico Madrid’s home game with Las Palmas on Sunday but coach Diego Simeone says the striker is “recovering really well” from a hamstring injury.
Costa lasted an hour against Girona last weekend before being forced off, subsequently missing the Copa del Rey defeat at Sevilla on Tuesday.
The Spain international has trained this week but Simeone will not risk him against the Canary Islanders at the Wanda Metropolitano.
The Argentine said: “Diego is doing better, he trained well on Friday and during Saturday’s training he did a good job too.
“He won’t be in the squad for this game but he’s recovering really well.”
Vitolo, who spent the first half of the season on loan at Las Palmas while ineligible for Atletico due to the club’s transfer ban, has yet to make an impact in the capital but Simeone is confident the 28-year-old will come good.
He added: “Well it is not a surprise, he has just come to the team.
“He played against Lleida, he played against Girona and the first half against Sevilla, so he has played. He’s improving and adapting little by little to the team. We need his skills and talent, he’s willing to help the team. In the upcoming games he will have minutes and he will have to earn his place in a really good starting XI.
“There’s [Yannick] Carrasco, [Angel] Correa, Koke… and the players who understand better the needs of the team are the players getting more minutes.”