Thursday 12 December 2019

Benayoun faces up to lengthy lay-off

Premier League leaders Chelsea could be without Yossi Benayoun for several months, with the Israeli FA revealing that the midfielder has suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon.

The 30-year-old has not played since he tore a calf muscle in the Carling Cup defeat to Newcastle on September 22. He had joined up with the Israel squad for Euro 2012 qualifiers against Croatia and Greece, but underwent a scan on Tuesday which revealed the Achilles injury.

Chelsea were yesterday waiting for Benayoun, who joined in the summer for £5.5m from Liverpool, to return to London before announcing how long they expected him to be missing.

Benayoun had earlier received treatment on his injured calf in Serbia from the controversial "placenta doctor" Marijana Kovacevic, who worked with Chelsea's Frank Lampard and the Liverpool defender Glen Johnson earlier this year.

The Israel captain said: "I arrived with hope of helping the national team but, unfortunately, this is not a simple injury. An additional test will reveal what needs to be done."

Benayoun made his Chelsea debut in the 3-1 Community Shield defeat to Manchester United, but has yet to start a Premier League game for the Double winners.

News of Benayoun's injury came a day after defender Alex was ruled out for three weeks with a thigh injury he picked up scoring a spectacular goal from a free-kick in Sunday's 2-0 victory over Arsenal.

Lampard, however, is due back in action next week, when the champions travel to Aston Villa. The midfielder has not played since he aggravated a hernia problem in the 2-0 win over Stoke in August. He underwent surgery last month and resumed training, only to suffer a groin strain.

Lampard has missed Chelsea's last seven games and England's opening two Euro 2012 qualifiers and will also sit out Tuesday's game against Montenegro.

He said yesterday: "I don't really want to set dates but I'm hoping to return after the international break.

"I've got a good couple of weeks to work with the physios. Hopefully, I won't be too far away. I'm a horrible person to be around when I'm not playing so it's been frustrating for me."

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