Chelsea remain positive about Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic despite injury frustrations

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Frank Lampard insists he has no major worries over the troublesome injuries to Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic.

The Chelsea manager has revealed Abraham was "relatively positive" after jetting to Barcelona for a second opinion on his problematic ankle.

But Lampard remains unable to provide a clear return date for either England hitman Abraham, or United States forward Pulisic, who has not played since New Year's Day due to an abductor problem.

Asked if he had any idea when Abraham would be back in action, Lampard said: "No. He went to Barcelona to get another set of eyes on it and has come back relatively positive.

"Unfortunately, he's unwell at the moment, he's off for a couple of days with a bit of a bug, so there's no further update on the injury."

With Pulisic's injury proving just as tricky as Abraham's, Lampard admitted both attacking stars are itching to get back into action.

"It's certainly frustrating for them, particularly Christian who has had a big phase out now and is desperate to get back," said Lampard. "But only the concern I have every week when they are not fit, it's no greater than that.

"I'm hoping when I'm not giving an answer it's not like I'm looking into the distance and I can't see the answer.

"I'm hoping they might be fit over the next week or two, I just can't say that with clarity because they've both had their issues. It's a difficult one and my concern remains the same as always with any injury."

Chelsea host Liverpool in FA Cup fifth-round action on Tuesday night, with Andreas Christensen likely to miss out due to a knock.

Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has fallen out of favour in recent weeks, but Lampard confirmed he could start against Liverpool.

Chelsea held on to fourth place in the Premier League despite a frustrating 2-2 draw at Bournemouth on Saturday, but Manchester United and Wolves only trail the Blues by three points.

Admitting the summer transfer window would be crucial to Chelsea's plans, Lampard also revealed he was having to stay patient over the Stamford Bridge club's progress.

Midfielder Christian Pulisic, pictured scoring against Crystal Palace in November, has not played for Chelsea since New Year's Day

Asked if the season had so far been harder than he expected, Lampard replied: "No. I had my eyes open when I came into it. I had a hard season with Derby last year, it almost finished very well.

"It is the job. My hard problems are what hard problems are for other managers somewhere else – which is relative. It is the nature of the job, I am fully aware of it."

Asked if the club face a pivotal summer, Lampard said: "Yes, because my first feeling with how I am means I am not very patient.

"That's how I am as a sportsperson. I was as a player, I want more every day, the next day, I wanted more yesterday.

"But in the situation when you become realistic – and in my job as a manager – you look at it and say that there are other variables around it. Patience has to be in the game for us, for sure."

Premier League leaders Liverpool lost their first league game of the season at Watford over the weekend and though Lampard believes it proved they were vulnerable, he said they have still had an "incredible season".

"They've become relatively human but it's one game," Lampard said. "They're a strong team and they've been out on their own this season.

"We will have to be at our best. I don't mind playing midweek. The FA Cup is a huge competition. Evening games bring a different atmosphere and playing Liverpool is always big for us."

Updated: March 2, 2020 07:35 PM

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