Ruben Loftus-Cheek took a major step towards making a full recovery from an Achilles’ injury after he played 60 minutes for Chelsea in a friendly on Tuesday.
The midfielder has been out since May after he suffered a huge setback during a friendly against New England Revolution a week before the Europa League final against Arsenal.
Loftus-Cheek has been forced to undergo a gruelling rehabilitation programme and take a watching brief while Lampard builds a new-look Chelsea team around a couple of the side’s brightest academy graduates.
According the Guardian, the England international is said to have shown no ill effects after his pre-planned substitution on the 60th minute against Brentford’s B team.
Loftus-Cheek, who only returned to first team training in January, will now focus on stepping up his workload at the club before a possible appearance for the Under-23s.
The midfielder’s history of fitness issues means Chelsea will continue to handle him with extreme caution, rather than rush him back into the team, despite a recent run of worrying form which has put their Champions League place in jeopardy.
‘Where we are having a bit of time off for the players, he won’t, he’ll be working,’ Lampard said last week.
‘He’ll be with the 23s to try and get some minutes … Hopefully after the break we can talk about him more when he is going to come back into the squad.’
Chelsea are currently fourth in the Premier League with 13 matches to go and do not play again until they host Manchester United on 17th of February.