Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Lampard to miss Chelsea's clash with Arsenal

Frank Lampard will miss Chelsea's top of the table showdown with Arsenal at the end of the month after the club confirmed he will be sidelined for three weeks.

It was originally feared Lampard was facing a six-week lay off after damaging his thigh while on England duty.

The midfielder spent seven hours cramped on a plane on the way to Qatar for tomorrow's Brazil friendly.

Lampard strained his left thigh while sprinting during England's first training session.

But Chelsea today confirmed the midfielder will be out for three weeks with a muscle tear.

A Chelsea spokesman said: "It has been confirmed that Frank suffered a muscle tear in his left thigh while away with the England national team.

"The midfielder reported back at Cobham this morning (Friday), having flown back from the Middle East.

"The Chelsea medical department's initial impression is that he may take approximately three weeks to recover."

Chelsea will claim his £151,000-a-week wages in compensation from the Football Association while he is sidelined.

Lampard and the rest of the England squad were reportedly forced to spend the long-haul flight to Doha on a charter plane designed for short-haul only.

England's players are used to having flat beds for long journeys and were allegedly shocked to find seats which hardly reclined.

Several players are understood to have complained of cramp and muscle pain after the flight.

The midfielder spent six weeks on the sidelines with a similar injury last season.

He will now miss their Champions League clash in Porto and their Barclays Premier League battle against Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have suffered another injury headache with captain John Terry struggling with an ankle problem.

The 28-year-old Chelsea defender was hurt during a training run although England boss Fabio Capello hopes he will be fit to face Brazil.

"He was running on his own and twisted his ankle. I am confident he will be fit for tomorrow," said Capello.

"The doctors think he will be okay but I won't take a risk. If he is not fit, he will not play."

Wayne Rooney will step in as captain if Terry is ruled out.

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