Drogba set for Chelsea return but Lampard remains on sidelines
Friday 22 October 2010
Didier Drogba looks set to return to lead the Chelsea attack against Wolverhampton Wanderers tomorrow, but Frank Lampard will have to wait a little longer for his comeback, much to the frustration of the England midfielder.
Drogba has missed Chelsea's last two matches because of a virus but has now resumed full training ahead of the visit of Mick McCarthy's side, who are third from bottom of the Premier League. Lampard, though, is expected to need more recovery time following his hernia operation which has kept the 32-year-old out of action since 28 August.
Chelsea's assistant first-team coach, Paul Clement, confirmed: "The players who played in Moscow [on Tuesday] were given the day off. The substitutes and players recovering from injury or illness, like Didier Drogba, came in the afternoon and we had a good session with them. Didier looks good and he trained well."
Lampard, however, needs more rehabilitation time before he can be considered by manager Carlo Ancelotti. Clement continued: "Frank is progressing really well. He had a terrific session earlier in the week with [assistant fitness coach] Chris Jones doing some individual work, he's really pushing himself. Frank is very frustrated and can't wait to get back. We have missed him and we look forward to him returning."
The centre-back Alex will also not yet return to the first-team as he recovers from a thigh problem. His fellow Brazilian Ramires missed the midweek 2-0 Champions League victory over Spartak Moscow because of an ankle injury, but should be back in contention this weekend.
Striker Salomon Kalou played his first game since sustaining a thigh strain in the Carling Cup defeat against Newcastle United last month and produced an impressive display at Luzhniki Stadium, the venue of Chelsea's Champions League final penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester United in 2008.
Chelsea captain John Terry paid tribute to the support of the travelling fans in Moscow. The England defender hopes another victory over the Russian side at Stamford Bridge next month would enable Ancelotti to give some of his players a welcome breather. "The support we get up and down the country is brilliant and it is especially so when you come to places like Russia. It is tiring enough for us players, but when the fans have to get up and go in to do a nine-to-five job it is great and we want to show our support to them as they do to us," the centre-back said. He added: "It would be very good to qualify early with the games coming thick and fast in the Premier League. With not only us, but other sides picking up injuries it will be nice if we can get the job done early on and maybe we can then rest a few players."
Branislav Ivanovic has enjoyed the experience of being alongside Terry in something of a makeshift Chelsea backline. "To play with John is a great experience for every player," said the Serbia international, whose usual position is on the right. "He gives to every player great confidence and I just try with him to give my best on the pitch."
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