Frank Lampard will miss Chelsea's UEFA Champions League clash with Marseille tomorrow as he continues to recover from hernia surgery which could also sideline him for England's UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.
Lampard has missed five matches since the operation on 31 August and Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti admitted the midfielder needs further rest before he will be ready to return to action. That means Lampard is certain to miss the visit of the French champions to Stamford Bridge and this weekend's match against Arsenal.
Ancelotti also hinted that the 32-year-old, who has been feeling pain from the surgery scar tissue, will be unable to play for England in their next qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley on 12 October.
"He can't play on Tuesday. We need to have more time than we expected for his rest," Ancelotti said. "In a few days there will be an international break and he will be ready for the first game after the break. He didn't play with us so I don't think he is able to play for the national team."
Lampard's prolonged absence is a further blow to Ancelotti, who is already without Salomon Kalou and Yossi Benayoun due to injuries. Brazil's Ramires, a recent signing from Benfica, deputised for Lampard against Manchester City and looked slightly overwhelmed by the pace and power of the match.
But Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel is adamant his team-mates are coping well with the challenge of filling in for Lampard. "I think Frank is an important player for this team. We all know that. Over the years he has shown his consistency," Mikel said.
"He is a massive loss but I think we are coping well without him. We have only lost one of the games he has missed. Right now he is injured and we have other players who can do a similar job."