So it’s been almost a dozen games since our vice captain has been on the pitch, and one has to wonder about the true extent of his injury, and if management is putting up a smokescreen to keep Chelsea nation at ease. After undergoing preseason surgery to treat a hernia, it’s obvious that Lamps has struggled to return back to playing form, suffering minor(or major) peripheral injuries related to his initial operation. Any injury that involves the abdominal and groin area are notoriously difficult to recover from, and more often than not the only cure for these types of injuries is time and rest. At worst, his injuries may very well affect his play for the rest of the season and/or beyond.
Lampard is known for being a workhorse; he’s reiterated his preference to not sit out for any match, and that he prefers the ebb and flow of playing an entire season, league and cup games and all. It’s a respectable attitude to always want to be on the pitch for your team, but the toll of playing nearly 15 seasons of 50+ games must have taken its toll on Frank the Tank. Time isn’t on his side, but he’s also at a point in his career where his mental capacity is arguably higher than his physical ability, which is saying alot. It seems like management and the doctors are erring on the side of caution, which is the most prudent thing to do. But will Chelsea will be able sustain their championship level of play for an extended period of time without Lamps? They have so far, except for a few roadbumps against Man City and Aston Villa, but the injuries to other members of the squad, in particular the midfield, are starting to add up. Ramires is hurt(but last heard is close to being match fit), Benayoun could be out for the season, and now Malouda, who arguably has been our best player this season, is out with an ankle injury. It’s not exactly dire straits, but a team with multiple trophy aspirations like ours will need at some point in the season for every weapon in their arsenal to be cocked, locked, and ready to rock.
On the bright side, McEachran has earned the confidence of Ancelotti to play meaningful minutes, and Zhirkov could be on the brink of becoming a dynamic first team regular as a starter or reserve. But there’s no doubt that Chelsea needs Lampard to come back, and the sooner the better. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and the sooner Lamps steps back out onto the field, the more likely that our boys in blue will stay on track for fulfilling what hopefully will be a season for the ages.