Frank Lampard has revealed he will never fully recover from the injury that destroyed the first half of his season.
England midfielder Lampard spent almost four months sidelined by a hernia and groin problem that was initially expected to rule him out only for a few weeks. The injury was so severe, the 32-year-old admits he will have to nurse it for the rest of his career.
Lampard said: "I've got to try to 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."
With club captain John Terry managing a thigh problem and full-back Ashley Cole having a chronic ankle complaint, it is another issue for Chelsea's medical staff to monitor.
Lampard added: "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."
Lampard returned to action two weeks ago but has so far been unable to help Chelsea arrest their alarming slide down the Barclays Premier League.
The champions have blown a five-point lead to lie nine behind unbeaten Manchester United having played a game more after their worst run in the league for almost 15 years.