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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Lampard ready to play at Anfield

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has made himself available for tomorrow night's Champions League semi-final against Liverpool after spending the last week at his sick mother's bedside.

Lampard has spent the last seven days with his mother, who is still described as 'very ill'.

However, a statement released by his agent Steve Kutner this morning announced the England international is ready to play at Anfield.

'Frank Lampard has made himself available for tomorrow night's Champions League match at Liverpool after spending the last seven days at the bedside of his sick mother,' said the statement.

'Although still very ill, her condition has now stabilised. Hopefully there is light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

'Frank would like to acknowledge the consideration shown to him by Chelsea FC and the media during this time of immense strain for himself and his family.'

Lampard's mother Pat was admitted to hospital on Monday last week suffering from pneumonia.

Chelsea boss Avram Grant has been understanding throughout and told the midfielder to take time away from training.

'It is a personal matter with Frank,' he said last week.

'I tell the players all the time that football is very important but sometimes there are things that need to be taken care of.

'This is more important and I understand that. I hope everything will be okay.

'Frank has not been training he has been at hospital with his mum. I know the feeling and it is not good.'

Lampard missed the Premier League clashes with Wigan and Everton last week but with fellow midfielder Michael Ballack still a doubt for the match, his availability could see Grant put him straight back into the starting XI on Merseyside.