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Chelsea's Lampard return on-hold

The Mirror reports that Frank Lampard's Chelsea return has been put on hold - and the midfielder is running out of time to impress Fabio Capello before his first England squad is picked.

Lampard had hoped to be back in action for today's trip to Birmingham after damaging his thigh in the Boxing Day draw with Aston Villa, with Chelsea targeting a return in Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final second leg at Everton.

But while the midfielder has been back at Chelsea's Cobham headquarters to work eight-hour rehabilitation shifts, his injury has not healed as well as expected. The games at St Andrews and Goodison will both come too early, while next weekend's FA Cup trip to Wigan is a game where the Blues will be confident of progress without risking a player who has a key role to play between now and the end of the season.

And it means Lampard is now unlikely to be back until the home game with Reading on January 30, less than 48 hours before Capello names the squad for his opening Wembley friendly with Switzerland.

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