Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mourinho: Lampard, Mata and Luiz could miss Chelsea's season opener

The Portuguese boss has revealed fitness concerns ahead of the Blues' first Premier League match but downplayed the extent of the injury problems
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has revealed that Frank Lampard, Juan Mata and David Luiz may not be fit in time for the start of the new season.

The trio have played limited roles during pre-season, although Lampard – Mourinho’s biggest fitness concern – has been picked in Roy Hodgson’s England squad to face Scotland on Wednesday.

Asked if the 35-year-old is ready for the new campaign, the Portuguese boss told reporters: "No, he still has to train. He has to play against Roma. He played 45 mins against Real, maybe he plays 60 against Roma.

"He is in the England squad so it will be good if he plays a part against Scotland. He is getting ready but his pre-season has seen him train for a week and then stop for two weeks.

"He is coming back again, we are calm. We have to be calm. We know the stages of recovery. His first minutes of pre-season have been against Real Madrid."

Mourinho also expressed concern over Luiz and Mata but downplayed the significance of them missing the Premier League opener through injury.

"They are important players," said Mourinho. "The team with David Luiz and Mata is a better team. But again this is not a problem, we don't risk players in preseason.

"Mata had a little thing, we didn't take a risk. David had an injury from before the Europa League final and he still has little things with it, so we stop."

Barcelona made a bid of 25 million euros for the versatile Brazil international on Wednesday, leading to speculation that he has sat out of Chelsea's matches as he awaits a move, but Mourinho dismissed the notion.

"If David misses the start of the season then it’s only because of his injury," he continued. "That's why I'm not risking him. He had a good session in DC with the fitness guys while we were in Miami. So, hopefully, there will be no problems."