Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Mourinho to play safe with Lampard

Jose Mourinho explained that Frank Lampard, pictured, is an important player and his fitness will not be risked

Frank Lampard's fitness will not be risked on Chelsea's tour of Asia, manager Jose Mourinho has said.

Chelsea's record goalscorer was slated to start Wednesday's win over Singha All-Stars in Bangkok, but appeared with strapping and ice on his right ankle due to an Achilles injury.

The Blues tackle a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, but Mourinho is taking a long-term view and is not prepared to take any chances of the 35-year-old exacerbating the problem.

"I don't want to risk," Mourinho said.

"It is such a long pre-season we don't need to risk, especially on these pitches, which are not the best quality pitches. If on Sunday he is not 100 per cent, I am not risking him.

"He is an important player for us."

Lampard surpassed Bobby Tambling as Chelsea's record goalscorer in April before agreeing a one-year contract extension to end a saga which rumbled on for much of last season.

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