Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has confirmed that young midfielder Billy Gilmour has undergone surgery on a knee injury and is expected to be sidelined for at least three months.
The 19-year-old picked up the injury during Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Crystal Palace, but still managed to complete 80 minutes of the game before being forced off the field late on.
Unfortunately, they will be the final minutes Gilmour will play this season as Lampard confirmed in a pre-match press conference (via football.london) that the Scot needed surgery as a result of the surprise injury.
“He had an operation on his knee this morning so will be out for somewhere between three and four months, unfortunately,” Lampard revealed.
“I’m very disappointed. Billy is. I spoke to him yesterday at length and given him support. He’s a tough boy. It’s hit him hard as a younger player who made a breakthrough in recent times.”
Gilmour has managed 11 appearances during his breakthrough season, impressing so much during meetings with both Liverpool and Everton before the break to earn himself a regular spot in the matchday squad ever since.
With N’Golo Kanté also injured, Gilmour was given the nod for the Palace game, but this latest issue means Lampard will now need to look elsewhere for Saturday’s trip to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United.
Mateo Kovačić has returned to training and could be an option, but the obvious solution appears to be Jorginho, who had a major impact against Palace after being brought on to replace Gilmour.
They were the Italian’s first minutes since the restart amid speculation that Lampard has decided he no longer features in his plans. Juventus have been heavily linked with a move for Jorginho, but the boss has insisted that he still has a spot at Stamford Bridge.
One potential name to look out for is 17-year-old Lewis Bate, who has been training with the senior side ever since the return to action. According to Nizaar Kinsella, Bate is expected to travel to Sheffield United on Saturday.
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