Manuel Pellegrini has revealed that the injury sustained by Frank Lampard in Manchester City’s recent friendly game against Hamburg in Abu Dhabi is not serious.
Lampard was substituted after just 20 minutes in what appeared to be a hip problem. The 36-year old has played a big hand in City’s revival during December and the fans will want his presence in their team’s crunch game against Chelsea on January 31st. The absence of Yaya Toure will mean that Lampard will have an extra load on his shoulders as the Ivorian is often a source of goals from the midfield.
On the Lampard injury, Pellegrini said, “Frank was injured in the warm-up. He felt some problem in his muscle but I don’t think it will be very serious. We took him off just as a precaution.
“I hope that he will be fit, not only for Chelsea, but for the FA Cup.
“It was just a small problem, but he asked to try to play. After that he told us it was impossible but I don’t think that it will be a very important injury and we hope that we can have him for Saturday.”
Lampard scored when City played against Chelsea at home and will have to play a big role come late January if City are to defend their Premier League crown.
Pellegrini also revealed his delight after the performance of 20-year-old midfielder George Evans who had a good game and played a hand in Stefan Jovetic’s goal. The Manchester City u21 player played a brilliant long-range pass to find Jovetic.
“George is a young player who usually works with us during the week,” said Pellegrini.
“He is part of the squad that is coached by Patrick Vieira and he played a very good game and showed his personality.
“I know him very well because he trains with us normally, so I am very happy for him.”
Manchester City face Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fourth round tie before travelling to London to take on Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge. City are five points behind the leaders and that too with a vastly inferior goal difference. With the Blues playing a Capital One Cup Semi-final a few days prior to the clash, Pellegrini will hope that the tiredness factor will go against Chelsea. In addition, Lampard’s presence will also be a massive boost for the current holders.