NEW YORK – Former Chelsea and England star Frank Lampard limped out of New York City FC’s 2-2 MLS draw with FC Dallas on Saturday with an apparent left calf injury.
With the playoffs four weeks away it could be a serious blow for City and Lampard, who missed the first 12 matches of the season with an injury to the same leg but has become an increasingly influential force for a club challenging Toronto FC for the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Lampard, who has a dozen goals in 15 matches, exited in the 41st minute and returned to the bench at halftime with his left calf wrapped.
Coach Patrick Vieira didn’t immediately know the severity of the injury.
“He’s a sensible professional,” Vieira said. “He came out because he didn’t want to make it worse. We will wait and see how bad it is.”
City defender Khiry Shelton scored in the 78th minute to earn the draw with the Western Conference leaders, which snapped the hosts’ five-game winning streak at Yankee Stadium.
Shelton collected a superb cross from Jack Harrison and fired a header from eight yards out inside the near post.
City forward Steven Mendoza had a chance for a go-ahead goal in the third minute of injury time but his attempt after a free kick by David Villa was saved by Dallas keeper Chris Seitz.
New York forward Tommy McNamara opened the scoring in the eighth minute, and Dallas responded in the 20th with a goal from forward Maximiliano Urruti.
Dallas midfielder Michael Barrios put the visitors ahead in the 52nd.
Dallas top the Western Conference standings with 52 points, with the Los Angeles Galaxy second on 47.
New York City are second in the east on 45 points behind the 46 of Toronto—who play the third-placed New York Red Bulls on Sunday.