Frank Lampard says Michy Batshuayi has an opportunity to impress for Chelsea after providing a concerning update about the fitness of Tammy Abraham.
Abraham sat out training at Chelsea’s Cobham base on Friday and will miss Saturday’s Premier League clash with West Ham at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard expects Chelsea to know by Monday the extent of Abraham’s hip issue, that he suffered in the Blues’ 2-2 Champions League draw at Valencia on Wednesday.
“We’ll know by the end of the weekend, he’s got some pain and won’t be involved tomorrow,” said Lampard.
“But then we’ll know by Monday.”
Abraham landed awkwardly on his hip in Chelsea’s Champions League clash at the Mestalla and was carried off on a stretcher at half-time.
The 22-year-old insisted straight after the match that his injury was not as bad as he had first feared, but the Blues are still assessing their star striker.
Michy Batshuayi replaced Abraham off the bench in Valencia and will battle it out with Olivier Giroud to lead Chelsea’s line against West Ham this weekend.
Abraham has fired 10 goals and laid on two assists in a blistering Premier League start this term, but Lampard insisted he is confident the Blues boast the firepower to cope in his absence.
“The other lads have been training well, every day is a work day so whenever chances come they are ready and I have every confidence in them,” said Lampard.
“Michy has shown work ethic and quality, which I knew anyway. It’s not easy when you’re not playing as many minutes as you’d want.
“All my players want to play every minute of every game. With Tammy’s form that’s meant he’s played a lot of minutes, but that can obviously change now Tammy has his injury.
“I’ve seen a great work ethic and a persistence in how he works, and a consistency in his quality.
“We’ve seen when he has come off the bench at times as well. That has been great to see because we need competition in those places.”
Lampard will face the first game of his managerial career against former club West Ham, but insisted he remains unfazed by the occasion.
“I wouldn’t say it’s bittersweet in any way, it’s just a game for me; a game for us to try to win against a very difficult opponent,” said Lampard.
“It’s a London derby which adds spice to it, which the players have to be aware of. That can change the temperature of the game.
“I’ve played in games like this where teams turn up not in great form and are slightly transformed by the nature of the game. So we have to be very aware of that.
“I’m not concerned about the emotions of it from my point of view.
“I came through the academy there a long time ago, I’ve been at Chelsea a long time as a player and now as manager so my focus is completely on us.”