This is not good.
On Monday, NYCFC officials announced that midfielder Frank Lampard will be out 3-4 weeks due to a low-grade strain of the left soleus muscle in the lower calf.
Lampard missed the first ten weeks of the season with a gastrocnemius (upper calf) injury in that same left leg.
While the ailment is bad news for the rest for the regular season, the timetable does offer hope that he will be back and healthy in time for the start of the playoff.
After being dubbed "the worst MLS signing in history" by fans who were fed up with his lack of appearances to start the season, Lampard has laid to rest any claim that he’s not an asset to NYCFC, scoring 12 goals in his 17 starts under Patrick Vieira. He has transformed the midfield playing alongside Andrea Pirlo and has provided a secondary scoring threat to David Villa. He also has played mentor to budding 19-year-old star Jack Harrison, who has been spectacular in his rookie season out of Wake Forest.
Currently sitting at 3rd place in the Eastern Conference, NYCFC have four more matches to try move up to the 1 or 2 seed to secure a knockout round bye. The task was already a tall order, as the two squads above them have certain advantages (Toronto FC up 2 points with a game in hand/New York Red Bulls even on points but much better on goal difference). It now gets even tougher without the 38-year-old English star.
The one saving grace is that none of the last four matches are against playoff teams (Chicago, DC, Houston, Columbus). In the meantime, we’ll be hoping that the injury isn’t persistent and Lampard will be back in time to try and claim the MLS Cup for New York.