Manager ready to gamble on Lampard's fitness to end horrendous run

Chelsea are prepared to take a chance on bringing Frank Lampard back for Sunday's game against Tottenham Hotspur after more than three months out as they try to turn around a run of only five points from six Premier League games.

The 32-year-old, who did not travel to Marseilles for the Champions League game, has been impressive in training all week and his manager Carlo Ancelotti is now confident that he is over the worst injury run of his career. He last played against Stoke City on 28 August and since then has suffered two subsequent injuries in his rehabilitation.

Lampard has never been as missed by Chelsea as during their recent poor run which began with the defeat at Liverpool on 7 November and has been followed with losses to Sunderland and Birmingham City. A win against Spurs would be crucial to putting them back on track having slipped to third place behind Arsenal and Manchester United – who they then play in the following two games.

Lampard required a hernia operation in August and was on course to recover from the keyhole procedure within a couple of weeks. However, following surgery he tore a tendon off the bone, an injury which usually requires a further 12-week break and there has been one further setback since then.

He has said that he is not prepared to risk coming back sooner than necessary but after a week of training there is a strong case for putting him into the team to start against Spurs on Sunday. In an interview last month, Lampard said that he was ready to make a quick comeback once he was clear of the injury.

He said: "I'm probably fitter right now than I was in the first game of the season against West Brom – that's because of all the work I have been doing behind the scenes."

Chelsea are also without Jose Bosingwa for the Spurs game and the long-term injured Alex and Yossi Benayoun. Ancelotti did not take Nicolas Anelka or Ashley Cole to France this week in order to rest them ahead of Sunday's game. John Terry was substituted with an ankle injury but should be fit to face Spurs. Yuri Zhirkov is another doubt for the match.

"It's not getting any easier because we have Tottenham next," said Didier Drogba. "But not a lot of people expected us to lose to Marseilles or expected Chelsea to have a difficult moment. Maybe everyone will expect us to lose on Sunday, but it could be different.

"I see Tottenham as genuine title rivals now. They are having a good season and there is no reason why they can't challenge. Chelsea used to beat them regularly but things change, that's life, but it is up to us to make it happen again.

"Obviously these three games are not coming at the right time for us, but maybe these matches will change the situation we're in now if we win them. It's not finished yet."

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer the industry can continue to flesh out an existence
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Arts and Entertainment
art
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable