Chelsea boss Lampard admits players will need 'three or four weeks' after lockdown before being match fit
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has warned the Premier League that players will need ‘three to four weeks’ worth of training once lockdown is lifted before they are fit to return to matches.
‘Project Restart’ dictates that top flight games will need to resume in mid-June if the season is to be completed by the beginning of August - the deadline UEFA have set.
But as the UK enters the second week of May and remains in lockdown, Blues boss Lampard has reminded those making the decisions that players will not necessarily be ready to play in a few weeks.
Speaking on a video call to an NHS doctor and Chelsea fan, he said: "Not only is it a long break but for big parts of that break they've been sitting down on the sofa. They haven't been getting as active as they normally would be.
"We will need to play that one by ear and see what period of time we get, whenever we do go back.
“They're talking about going back in smaller groups, which is how we'll probably start and that will be more about maintaining fitness and then stepping it up. We need some form of a pre-season and proper training for three or four weeks.”
Lampard's Chelsea were unbeaten in four Premier League games before the suspension of the season and currently occupy the all-important fourth Champions League spot with nine games remaining.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to ease Britain's lockdown measures on Sunday, however it is unclear whether that will allow players to return to training.
No Premier League matches have taken place since Leicester beat Aston Villa 4-0 at the King Power Stadium on March 9.
But football is beginning to return in Europe after German Chancellor Angela Merkel approved the return of the Bundesliga on Wednesday.