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Chelsea’s Lampard return delayed again

SoccerNews in English Premier League 24 Sep 2010

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Frank Lampard has still not returned to full fitness following a hernia operation and will miss Chelsea’s trip to Manchester City on Saturday, the English league leaders announced on Friday.

The England international midfielder underwent surgery at the end of August but is not yet ready to resume competitive football.

“Frank is not 100 percent so we don’t want to take a risk. We need to have more time to be fit,” said Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti.

The Blues have made a perfect start to the defence of their Premier League title, winning their first five games and scoring 21 goals in the process to establish a four-point lead at the top of the table.

They were knocked out of the League Cup after losing 4-3 at home to Newcastle on Wednesday, however, and lost both Salomon Kalou (thigh) and Yossi Benayoun (calf) to injury during the game.

Ivorian forward Kalou is likely to be out for around three weeks, with Israeli midfield schemer Benayoun predicted to spend a similar time on the sidelines.

Both players will therefore miss Chelsea’s Champions League game at home to Marseille on Tuesday, as well as the trip to City.

“Yossi and Salomon had a check yesterday, I think they will be able to come back after the internationals, maybe three weeks,” said Ancelotti.

“With muscle injuries it’s always three weeks.”

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