The coronavirus guidelines have made it ‘difficult’ for Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech to achieve his fitness, says head coach Frank Lampard.
Ziyech eventually made his Chelsea debut last weekend as Southampton held the Blues to a 3-3 draw on the Stamford Bridge.
His boss Lampard says the COVID-19 regulations Chelsea must follow, which prevents the first-team squad from mixing with the U23s in behind-closed-door games, have allowed progress following his return from the injury.
“It’s been very difficult to integrate him,” Lampard said.
“We have a bubble here at Cobham so we can’t play against the Under-23s or bring over a lot of kids to replicate 11 vs 11 games on big-sized pitches, which is generally where you would want someone to be working when they’ve not played for five or six months off.”
“We miss that and we have to find the right way to give Hakim and others in the squad minutes as quickly as we can.”
The Moroccan’s start to his career at the Bridge was hampered by a knee injury he suffered during a pre-season friendly against Brighton.