Frank Lampard has told Sky Sports that there are some players in his Chelsea squad who have been struggling with coronavirus for longer than others and admits it has been “very challenging” for his medical staff to deal with.
Two members of the club staff have tested positive for COVID-19 this week, whilst Manchester City have just announced that Eric Garcia and a member of their own backroom team have joined the list of five COVID related absentees for this afternoon’s match between the clubs. Despite so many cases being present at both Chelsea and City, the game is still set to go ahead.
When asked asked to describe the difficulty of the situation, Lampard told Sky Sports: “Very challenging, not just for me but the medical team and sports science because some players are asymptomatic and come back training within a few days and reach their top level, but then there are some players who take longer.
“They report tiredness and fatigue and because everything is so new, we don’t have anything to gauge it by. We don’t have the right methods to know how to get players back to a level as quickly as possible.
“It’s not just us but a problem for the league. This year is different and will be different until we get to the other side.”
One of the players who has been hardest hit is Kai Havertz. Having joined the club for a big fee, Chelsea fans naturally have high expectations for the player, but Lampard has urged supporters to be patient as not only does he need to adjust to the English game, but he is also suffering severely from the affects of COVID-19.
Lampard said: “Just as Kai was coming to terms with the Premier League and had some really good performances with us, he got COVID and he had it quite severely, as I think people are really starting to open up about now.
“I have read a few things recently about how much people can suffer with it now. Some people are asymptomatic. He definitely has had a bit of a fallout with that physically and I speak with him a lot and we know that.
“It is something we are trying to help him to deal with. Yeah, the expectation around him you have to put context into the story. Kai’s talent is undoubted. I see that every day.
“Giving him the time to adapt to the Premier League and to our team is crucial. We have seen players come here in the past, didn’t really adapt, went elsewhere and come back to the Premier League and absolutely lit it up to unbelievable levels.
“I am not trying to compare Kai directly with that but there are so many stories across the Premier League, not just Chelsea.
“I have full belief in him. We need to give him that time, particularly because of the COVID situation – that is a problem. That is not a non-issue; it is an issue that is related beyond his illness.”