Frank Lampard believes baby-faced Billy Gilmour has the mental strength to bounce back from his shock four-month lay-off.
Chelsea ’s talented Scottish teenager had knee surgery yesterday morning to bring his breakthrough season with the Champions League challengers to an abrupt halt.
“Billy has had an operation on his knee and unfortunately will be out for three to four months,” said Lampard.
Gilmour, 19, has been one of the standout performers in Lampard’s Blues revolution, impressing yet again in their 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Tuesday.
It was in that match, however, that Gilmour picked up the injury with 10 minutes to go.
“I saw it happen,” said Lampard. “Midway through the first half. It was completely accidental as he crouched down I saw his reaction as he got up, had a bit of a grimace.
“It’s a tear of his meniscus in his knee, that’s as far as my expertise will go as far as the injury itself!
“But we have the best surgeon on it and he is young with an incredible attitude, health and build so hopefully he will get over it as quickly as possible.
“I got him in on Thursday morning and spoke to him. He has got a tight-knit family, he is a good old Scottish lad and he’s tough as well, so don’t be shocked or tricked by the baby face because there is a tough nature to him.”
The teen will now miss Chelsea’s remaining four games in the Premier League, as they battle Leicester and Manchester United for a top-four spot.
Lampard’s Chelsea team head to Sheffield United today with the Blades having won two of their last three to put themselves back into European contention.
Chris Wilder’s side are now outsiders, however, for a Champions League place after their momentum was halted by a goal incorrectly disallowed against Aston Villa last month by VAR.
United could yet pursue their case beyond the season if they miss out on European football’s elite competition.
Lampard said: “I would certainly sympathise with their thoughts and feelings on it because I felt in on the night – didn’t we all – that that decision absolutely should have gone in their favour.
“I don’t know the ins and outs of how far they can pursue it so wouldn’t want to get on that one too much but I sympathise because when you’re on the wrong end of those ones – and it’s so clear – it can stay with you.”
Meanwhile Christian Pulisic believes returning to his native US during the break helped him to recover from a groin injury. Since the restart he has scored three in his five League games.
Pulisic said: “I was training hard and I was able to get some work in back in the States, making sure I was 100 per cent fit and ready to go.
"So during a really tough time for a lot of people, that was the one positive thing that I could do for myself.”
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