(Reuters) – Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said injured midfielder Ross Barkley showed a lack of professionalism after a video emerged of him shirtless in a nightclub during the international break.
Barkley, 25, has not played since Oct. 19 due to an ankle injury.
“He showed a lack of professionalism as far as I’m concerned,” Lampard told reporters ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League trip to Valencia later on Wednesday.
“It’s not something I want to come down hard on because I understand all my players are humans and have lives. I don’t police every moment of their lives.”
Barkley made nine appearances for Chelsea this season before injuring his ankle against Newcastle United last month and Lampard said the midfielder had still not fully recovered.
“He’s still kind of carrying an injury, so he just has to work his way back in and train well,” Lampard added.
Chelsea are second in Champions League Group H, level on seven points with leaders Ajax Amsterdam and third-placed Valencia.
(Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)