Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has hinted Ruben Loftus-Cheek could play some part against Bournemouth on Saturday as he continues his comeback from injury.
The 24-year-old has not played a single minute of football for the Blues this season after rupturing his Achilles tendon in a post-season friendly against Philadelphia Union in May.
But the England international has been included in the travelling squad against Bournemouth after proving his fitness and Lampard is hoping the midfielder will get a run-out after his nine-month absence.
“We haven’t had great opportunity to get Ruben game time as much as we’d want,” Lampard said.
“I felt at Tottenham he could be an impact in some sort in the game, and that would have been great for him to get some minutes.
“Bayern was a different animal, so I took a different decision to get some good training in the week. But now he’s back in the squad.”
Loftus-Cheek’s return comes at a critical point in the season for Lampard, with his Chelsea leading the chase for a Champions League qualification spot.
And Lampard is excited about the prospect of being able to select Loftus-Cheek, who scored 10 goals in all competitions in the 2018-19 campaign.
“It would mean a lot to him and me for him to get some time on the field now,” he added.
“It’s a lonely place, it’s a long time. He was in a very good run of form last year, playing really well and getting confidence. And he hasn’t kicked a ball for me.
“With the ability he has got, I think he’s one of the most exciting English midfield and Premier League players, so we all want him back, and him more than anyone.”