Frank Lampard has revealed that he will never fully recover from the torn tendon injury that kept him out for four months, and that he was not told the full extent of the problem by Chelsea's medical staff.
Lampard, 32, has played six games since returning from the longest spell on the sidelines in his career, which began in August when he missed England's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland to undergo keyhole surgery on a hernia. At the time manager Carlo Ancelotti said: "He will be out for one or two weeks. It is not a big problem."
However, Lampard admits he trained too hard too soon after the operation and subsequently the hamstring tendon was torn from a bone close to his pelvis, resulting in a further three months out of action. The England midfielder only found out the full extent of the injury when he decided to seek another opinion and visited a Harley Street specialist, who gave him the full story.
After scoring two goals in Chelsea's 7-0 thrashing of Ipswich in the FA Cup on Sunday, Lampard spoke of how his frustration over the injury was compounded by the confused messages he had been given.
Lampard said: "It was a bad injury and I wasn't really told that in the beginning. I was expecting it to be a few weeks and people were telling me that, and in the end I went to see someone who told me it was a three-month minimum injury.
"Once I got my head round that it was easier to take. When you think you're going to be back every week and everyone's asking you about it and you're not, it becomes even more frustrating."
Lampard said the problem was not one of misdiagnosis: "It wasn't misdiagnosed. It was probably a bit my fault because I always try and push. If I could go back I would have given it a lot more rest when I first got the injury. I was trying to push to be fit for games. It's always easy with hindsight," he said.
Chelsea have suffered several injuries to key players this season which have proved tough correctly to diagnose. John Terry's trapped thigh nerve was a recurring problem until the captain visited the renowned chiropractor Dr Jean-Pierre Meersseman in Milan. In October midfielder Yossi Benayoun claimed his torn Achilles tendon had been "missed" by Chelsea's doctors until he underwent an MRI scan in Israel.
Lampard also said his injury is so severe he will never fully recover but will be something he needs to nurse for the rest of his career. With Terry also having to manage his thigh injury, and Ashley Cole carrying a chronic ankle problem, it is worrying news for Chelsea.
Lampard said: "I've got to try and keep it strong because I've got a weakness there. My tendon came off the bone and it doesn't go back, you just have to stay very strong in that area. I've spoken to players who've had it and they know the frustrations and the aftermath and what you have to do. It's no problem, you just have to do an extra two or three sessions a week in the gym to keep it strong.
"It was a bad injury and I still feel it occasionally. There are no sharp pains or anything, but the more games I play the sharper I'll be, and I'm determined to have a good second half to the season because I basically missed the first half."
Sunday's victory was just Chelsea's third in 12 games and Lampard gave an honest assessment of the team's recent lack of form.
"There are quite a few reasons, a lack of confidence being one of them, but there has also been a lack of quality and workrate," he said.
"We need to step it up across the board to get back to where we want to be. Everyone at Chelsea understands we're not expected to have the run of results we've had. We have high standards and the results we've had the last two months is not the level we expect."