Coming on the ... heels ... of his game-changing goal and performance versus AS Roma on Saturday, Frank Lampard has declared himself fully fit and ready to move on from his Achilles "niggle" for both club and country.
"There is no pain with the injury any more. I am feeling good"
"I like to think I am a pretty fit bloke and will be ready for Hull. I have trained the first week of pre-season and now the last week too and I have trained hard."
"I’ve looked after myself in between so if the manager wants me I am there and I am ready."
-Frank Lampard; source: Telegraph
Most of that is the, by now, fairly standard Lampard-speak that we've heard many times over the last couple years about training hard and wanting to play and being ready whenever the manager needs him. And he says similar things regarding his role for Roy Hodgson's England, while also confirming that he will have no qualms about having a "chat" with his pal Wayne Rooney - presumably about the weather and the cricket and where to get the best haircuts in West London.
But beyond all that, the fact remains that Frank Lampard is 35 years old. And time being not at all timey-wimey in real life - spoilers! - he's unfortunately not getting any younger. After much debate, he finally signed a one-year extension in May, but that just means we'll have to go through all that hullaballoo quite soon once again.
With that in mind, my question to you right now is this: how many appearances do you think Lampard will make this season (in all competitions)? The last Portuguese manager we had tried to start phasing him out of the team; I'd guess the current one would have more success if he attempted something similar. But Lampard is our all-time leading scorer, was still our leading scorer in the Premier League last time, and is on an amazing streak of ten consecutive seasons with double-digit goals (both in the league and overall). After missing a good chunk of Ancelotti's final season, he's made 99 appearances over the last two seasons combined, reaching 50 last season for the eight time in his career.
It's almost as if he has no intention of ever slowing down. But of course one day he will; that day quite possibly coming this very season...