Frank Lampard Plays Down Tammy Abraham Injury Fears: 'Doesn't Seem Too Bad'

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 5, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Tammy Abraham of Chelsea claps the fans after the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on December 04, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has allayed fears over Tammy Abraham's fitness and said the striker's injury "doesn't seem too bad" after he was forced off in his return against Aston Villa on Wednesday. 

Abraham, 22, scored Chelsea's first goal before teeing up Mason Mount for the second in a 2-1 home win at Stamford Bridge having missed their previous 1-0 defeat to West Ham United due to a hip injury.

He was replaced by Michy Batshuayi after 83 minutes with what appeared to be a knock to his knee, but Lampard told reporters after the game: "It doesn't seem too bad in there, so I'm presuming that he's alright."

England international Abraham has scored 11 Premier League goals this season—only Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy (14) has more.

The victory over Villa ended a run of three games without a win for Chelsea, whose academy graduates continue to impress this season:

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Lampard praised the role Abraham is taking inside the Chelsea dressing room and on the pitch:

"He's a personality that's growing in our dressing room every day with his enthusiasm and his will to win.

"Tammy is a striker that's near the top of the goalscoring charts in the league, he's showing his all-round game, stretches defences, and he starts our press.

"And of course if a player's on such a good run it's normal that if they go out of the team that you can miss them, and today he came straight back in as he left off."

Olivier Giroud started in the recent loss at home to West Ham, when Lampard preferred to move Christian Pulisic into a false-nine role rather than bring Batshuayi off the bench.

Squawka highlighted Abraham is on track to beat his scoring record while on loan at Villa in the Championship last term:

Chelsea—fourth in the Premier League and three points below Manchester City—soon face three fixtures in the space of seven days. They travel to Everton on Saturday before hosting Lille in their final UEFA Champions League pool game on Tuesday, an essential fixture with the club third in Group H, and then entertain Bournemouth the following weekend.

Lampard's side would be 11 points worse off in the top flight this season without Abraham's goals and assists.

Neither Giroud nor Batshuayi seem to be considered genuine starters, while Abraham has enjoyed a much brighter start than record signing Alvaro Morata did in west London, per ESPN FC:

Everton are vulnerable after they lost 5-2 at Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday, meaning Lampard could look to an alternative to lead the line in Week 16. 

Chelsea travel to Goodison Park having failed to keep a clean sheet away from home in the league this term, and Abraham's fitness could be critical if they're to keep pace with the top three.