Frank Lampard hampered by failure to solve injury problems during Chelsea' slump

11 January 2011 09:54
Frank Lampard admits the confusion about the severity of his injury made it harder to cope with four months on the sidelines as Chelsea struggled.

Lampard has spoken publicly for the first time about the simple hernia operation and subsequent setback which forced him to miss 20 games for his club.

The 32-year-old England midfielder has rarely been injured but now feels regular aches and pains and must add extra gym sessions to his usual training regime for the rest of his career.

Back on track: Lampard and Terry celebrate beating Ipswich to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup

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 pulled out of England internationals against Bulgaria and Switzerland to have a routine hernia operation.

At the time, Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said: 'He will be out for one or two weeks. It is not a big problem.'

But Lampard experienced a long and complicated rehabilitation after he pulled a hamstring tendon away from the bone in the pelvic area in training.

Even after the setback, Ancelotti continued to claim he would soon be back, but it took four months.

It was reminiscent of Michael Essien's knee injury last season, which Chelsea thought would take six weeks but ruled him out for eight months.

There have been other complicated injuries at the club this season as John Terry suffered with a nerve problem in his leg and an achilles injury sidelined Yossi Benayoun.

Double trouble: Lampard scored twice during Chelsea's 7-0 hammering of Ipswich in their FA Cup tie on Sunday

Lampard said: '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 picked up the injury.

'I was trying to push to be fit for games. Really I had to wait for my body to heal naturally.

'It was frustrating. I'm used to being part of the team. You feel like an outcast when you're traipsing around on your own doing afternoon training and trying to get fit.

'I came to terms with it in the end and I understood the injury was bad and no matter how much I pushed I wasn't going to get back any quicker. Then I dealt with it much better. But some of the weeks in the middle, when I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel, were quite frustrating.'

Lampard, who has scored three in six appearances since his return last month, always had a reputation as a hard-working professional but now has even more work to do at the training ground.

'It was a bad injury and I still feel it occasionally,' he added. 'No sharp pains or anything. 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. You just have to do an extra two or three sessions a week in the gym to keep it strong.'

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Source: Daily_Mail

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