England blow as Frank Lampard pulls up in training with thigh injury
ENGLAND are sweating on the fitness of Frank Lampard after the 33-year-old midfielder pulled up in training with a thigh injury.
Lampard, who was set to play a part in Saturday’s final friendly match with Belgium at Wembley, before the squad heads off to their Euro 2012 base camp in Krakow, will now be monitored closely by the England medical team.
Jordan Henderson has been placed on stand-by and Lampard will undergo a scan tomorrow.
If today's injury setback does rule him out of Euro 2012, it could be that Lampard has played his last major tournament for England as he turns 34 in June.
The injury happened just hours after Lampard insisted Chelsea's Champions League triumph against all the odds will help inspire England to even greater heights at the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.
Chelsea produced backs-to-the-wall performances against Barcelona and Bayern Munich to lift the European Cup and, with Ashley Cole, John Terry and Gary Cahill all part of Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad, Lampard believes their revitalised belief and confidence can rub off on England.
He said: "I hope it can help greatly. You have to try to bring the positives all together.
"We will try and bring out a spring in our step into the squad, and we want to try and bring the fact that we've won something this year, potentially against the odds at some times.
"Maybe England will be at odds, and there is nothing wrong with that feeling, and as long as we can bring something as Chelsea boys we will.
"We have to believe we can achieve and go all the way. There’s a belief in the squad, and looking around the squad we know there is quality in the squad.
"We know that if we can harness that kind of unity and determination with the quality we’ve got, then we have to believe we can go all the way."
Lampard claims there is a good atmosphere under new manager Hodgson. He said: "Really there needs to be a relaxed atmosphere around the camp and it feels like that at the moment.
"As long as everyone is focused and determined and trains hard, I think we’ve got the quality in the team, so it’s about harnessing that and making the group very strong and then who knows what can happen."