Injury Report

Patrick Vieira: "A big chance" Frank Lampard will be in NYCFC's 18 vs. RBNY

Frank Lampard - Andrea Pirlo - NYCFC

NEW YORK—The opening salvo in the birth of the New York derby was thrown down in the South Ward at Red Bull Arena in the form of a Tifo.

It depicted New York City FC midfielders Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo hunched over and aided by canes, the words “City Retirement Home” overhead.

On Saturday at Yankee Stadium, Lampard might be ready to fire back.

For the first time this season, the midfielder is expected to be in NYCFC’s 18-man game day roster when the Eastern Conference leaders take on the Red Bulls (3 pm ET, FOX).

Lampard has been sidelined since the preseason with a calf strain.

“Frank is doing really well,” Vieira said at a Heineken Rivalry Week media day at Twitter’s Manhattan headquarters Thursday afternoon. “There’s a chance, a big chance, he will be part of the 18 for the game on Saturday. His calf has been responding quite well, training in the last few days with the rest of the team so he should get involved on Saturday.”

Lampard’s Major League Soccer career had a delayed start, first because of an extended stay with Manchester City, and then by injuries, first to his calf and then to his quad. The 37-year-old midfielder was limited to 10 appearances a year ago, scoring three times.

Lampard joined NYCFC for the beginning of preseason, but he only played in one preseason match and has been sidelined ever since.

His possible inclusion Saturday will be boost for a team that is riding a franchise-best five match unbeaten streak.

“He’s been training for a week already and he’s ready to get out there and start playing, but we’ll wait and see,” Pirlo said. “He’s a great champion, he’s gone through a lot, a number of injuries and he’s doing all that he can to get back on the field. He still has a great amount of passion, he wants to play and I’m sure if he does, he will be a great help to our team.”

NYCFC captain David Villa knows the frustration Lampard feels, calling the eight months he missed with a broken leg the “worst of my life.”

“I always say the same – it’s the worst part of [being a] soccer player,” Villa said. “Soccer, in general, has very good parts, but the worst part is to be injured.”