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Lampard suffers injury setback


Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard will be sidelined for an additional two to three weeks after suffering a muscular injury in training on Thursday.

The England star, 32, suffered an injury to his adductor muscle towards the end of Thursday's session, having been on course for a return to action on Sunday against Sunderland following a two-month stint on the sidelines with a hernia problem.

Brazilian defender Alex will also miss the match with a knee injury but Nicolas Anelka is back after missing the midweek win over Fulham with a back injury.

"Lampard is not fit," said Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti. "He had a problem during training. He did a fantastic training session (on Thursday), then had a problem on his adductor at the end.

"I think he will be out again for two or three weeks, until the start of December. We are disappointed because he was so close to coming back into training.

"It's bad news, but it's the same - we have to move on. It would have been a fantastic moment for him to replace suspended Michael Essien, a chance to put a player with experience and personality on the pitch, but we have to wait for him.

"He has a problem with his adductor, but he doesn't need surgery.

"We have Alex out with a problem on his knee - he'll have a consultation on Monday. Didier Drogba, who had malaria, should have recovered well by Sunday in order to play. Nicolas Anelka was not able to play against Fulham, but will train (on Saturday) and will be able to play."

Chelsea opted not to appeal against Essien's red cad against Fulham for his tackle on Clint Dempsey, so Ramires will almost certainly deputise for the Ghanaian. If Chelsea keep Sunderland at bay on Sunday it will see Chelsea set a new club record of 10 consecutive clean sheets and Ancelotti is proud of the run.

"My teams don't concede too many goals. I like to defend. I don't want to think about this record because it'll bring bad luck. It's important now, the defenders are doing very well individually and as a group."