After sustaining a minor hip injury in Manchester City's midweek friendly in Abu Dhabi, midfielder Frank Lampard is expected to be ready to play in the team's next Premier League match, a top of the table showdown with first place Chelsea.
Lampard, who scored the tying goal in City's last match against Chelsea, was said to have injured his hip while warming up for Wednesday's warm weather friendly against Hamburg. He was removed from the match as a precaution by Manuel Pellegrini after 20 minutes of play.
City have to consider themselves lucky that the injury to Lampard wasn't more serious, as they are already without Yaya Toure, gone on African Cup of Nations duty, in the center of their midfield. Against a Chelsea team loaded with talent in the midfield, the loss of Lampard would have put an already shorthanded City squad in a very undesirable position in a game they can't afford to lose.
Pellegrini is also hopeful that Lampard will be fit for this Saturday's FA Cup match with Middlesbrough, but his status for that match is still up in the air. Given the importance of the match at Stamford Bridge just one week later, it could be argued that risking Lampard in the FA Cup tie isn't worth it, no matter how badly City want to win every competition they are still alive in.