With John Obi Mikel being banned three matches for his reaction to claims that he was racially abused by a referee, Chelsea's depth in the pivot looked likely to be tested over the next couple of games. Oriol Romeu and Ramires appeared to be the only two players that Chelsea had at their disposal to play on Saturday against Sunderland, but Rafa Benitez has given us some good news on that front Friday. According to Benitez, Frank Lampard will be fit to return to the squad.
I'd be shocked if Lampard is given a start, especially given Benitez's use of GPS data to help determine player rotation. There is little chance that Lampard will be slated in for 90 minutes in his return to action, although playing some part in the action would seem likely.
John Terry will not be involved, and he will not be making the trip to Japan for the Club World Cup either. The tournament got underway yesterday, with Auckland City becoming the first club eliminated and Sanfrecce Hiroshima advancing to the quarterfinal round.
There has been no word yet on the fitness of Daniel Sturridge, but I'd assume that means he's a bit closer than Terry while being a bit behind Lampard. As far as I can tell, Marko Marin is not injured.
Update: Daniel Sturridge will not be in the squad for Sunderland, but he may be fit for the Club World Cup