Lampard updates on Mendy, Pulisic and Ziyech availability

The boss also ruled out Hakim Ziyech making his Blues bow in the game at West Bromwich Albion and Christian Pulisic will not return from injury, but first Premier League starts for Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell are under consideration.

On goalkeeper Mendy, whose transfer to Chelsea was announced yesterday, Lampard had this to say:

‘He has had a long week when he has not really trained, he flew in yesterday and it feels too tight a turnaround to put him in contention to start the game.

‘Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic are not ready for the squad tomorrow,’ he added, ‘but they are both training with us now which is good news, and we hope to have them in proper match contention over the next week or two.’

Lampard was asked if special care is being taken with Pulisic’s recovery in light of the time the American spent out of the side last season.

‘There is always a concern about player fitness when their history shows there has been injuries,’ he confirmed, ‘and you try to find the right way and right balance to get the best out of Christian, which we saw in big periods last year.

‘You make sure you don’t over-cook him and leave him susceptible to injury, and particularly with a player of his explosive pace and balance that is a fine line.

‘We are working on that and Christian is very open to that. He wants to play, he is so hungry and he is very nearly fit now but it is certainly something we will have to manage this season. We have all seen the talent and it is something I want to get right. I am not saying it is a fundamental, chronic issue, it is not, but we want as many minutes of the great Christian we saw last season on the pitch.’

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