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Eternal optimist Lampard claims Ziyech suffered only a ‘little twist’ of the knee

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Oh no

Brighton And Hove Albion v Chelsea - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Chelsea are hoping to avoid a classic case of a new signing getting hurt in his first action for the club, as Hakim Ziyech is set to be assessed for the apparent knee injury he suffered in Saturday’s friendly against Brighton & Hove Albion.

The “Wizard of AMS”, wearing Christian Pulisic’s No.22 shirt — shirt numbers are non-binding in preseason — landed awkwardly after challenging for a header, right where the pitch meets the sideline fake grass area, early in the second half. After getting briefly checked out on the sidelines, he came back on, only to immediately go down again after kicking the ball once — from a free kick won by Timo Werner, that left Chelsea’s other new signing limping slightly as well.

Werner should be fine, but Ziyech’s case is a bit more concerning, even as Lampard put a positive spin on things in his post-match comments, calling it just a “little twist to the knee”, according to the Chelsea official website.

Perhaps I have a bit of PTSD from my own ACL tear last year (which never had any of the classic signs of popping, pain, and swelling), but there is no such thing as a “little twist” of the knee — ligaments (especially the ACL) and cartilage (the meniscus) have very poor blood supply and thus healing. And even if there is, it’s likely to keep Ziyech out for weeks, if not months. Lampard’s record of sugarcoating injuries isn’t helping either — see Kanté’s “small” hamstring strain during Project Restart, which ended up keeping him out for basically all of July.

So, fingers crossed. And toes. And whatever else you can.