Belfast Telegraph

Frank Lampard blow as Chelsea’s problems mount

Chelsea's injury problems worsened last night when it emerged that Frank Lampard has suffered another setback which means he will miss tomorrow's crucial Premier League game against Manchester City and could potentially be out of the match against Arsenal a week on Sunday.

The England midfielder has not played since Chelsea's 2-0 win over Stoke City on August 28 having been diagnosed with a hernia that required surgery.

The problem was originally thought to be short-term and repairable with keyhole surgery over the international break earlier this month.

There are now fears that Lampard will be out even longer than anticipated just as the club approaches their biggest games of the season so far. As well as City and Arsenal, Chelsea face the French champions Marseilles at home on Tuesday in the Champions League.

Ancelotti confirmed yesterday that Lampard will not play against City and in private the Italian is very doubtful that his midfielder will make it in time for the Arsenal game at Stamford Bridge.

The operation on Lampard's hernia was a success, but the recovery is taking longer than expected and the club are not prepared to risk him early if it makes it worse.

The effect of Lampard's injury on Chelsea has been made worse by the injuries picked up by Salomon Kalou and Yossi Benayoun in the Carling Cup defeat to Newcastle United on Wednesday night.

Benayoun looks likely to be out for up to a month with a calf injury. Kalou is also out of tomorrow's game although the injury is not as bad as first thought. Both went for scans yesterday and the picture will be clearer today at Ancelotti's briefing.

Chelsea have just 19 senior professionals in their Premier League squad and now look thin in midfield.

Although only 17, Josh McEachran's performance as a second-half substitute against Newcastle demonstrated that he can be relied upon by Ancelotti.

Belfast Telegraph

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