Chelsea manager Frank Lampard hopes to have Antonio Rudiger fit for the Blues’ Champions League clash with Valencia after suffering an injury in their 5-2 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The German was making his first league start of the season after having surgery on a knee injury suffered in April, having made two previous appearances for the club’s development squad.
How long will Rudiger be out for? Five things to know…
- Antonio Rudiger made his first start for Chelsea’s senior team this season in their 5-2 win over Wolves.
- The German had played twice for their developmental squad to help recover from a knee injury.
- But he lasted just 45 minutes before having to come off as an injury precaution.
- Frank Lampard confirmed Rudiger had “bothered” a groin issue in slipping off the pitch.
- But Lampard hopes to have Rudiger fit for Chelsea’s Champions League opener against Valencia on Tuesday.
Rudiger started as part of a three-man central defence at Molineux alongside Andreas Christensen but had to be taken off at half-time after slipping trying to reach a pass.
And while Lampard has confirmed Rudiger “bothered” a groin issue, the Chelsea boss remains hopeful of calling on his centre-back on Tuesday.
“He’s had a groin issue which he bothered as he came off the pitch near me actually,” he told reporters.
“He slipped on some metal which made him adjust himself so he has bothered his groin.
“Hopefully it’s not too bad. It was more than a precaution because he did feel some pain so we’ll assess it over the next couple of days.
“It was just before half-time, where the ball was bouncing and he came off the pitch, unfortunately he bothered it then.
“Hopefully he’ll be ok for the Champions League.”
Chelsea earned just their second win of the season against Wolves on Saturday with Tammy Abraham scoring a hat-trick, alongside goals from Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori. It moved them up to sixth in the Premier League ahead of next week’s big game against league leaders Liverpool – the only unbeaten side left in the division.
But before that they kick off their Champions League return at home to Valencia, Lampard’s first taste of European football as a manager.
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Chelsea’s injury issues
Although Rudiger did return for the trip to Wolves, Chelsea were without another defender in Emerson, with the left-back picking up a hamstring injury while on international duty with Italy.
The 25-year-old was replaced by Marcos Alonso and joined N’Golo Kante, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James and Ruben Loftus-Cheek on the sidelines.
However, only Loftus-Cheek’s injury is long-term, with both James and Hudson-Odoi making their playing returns for the developmental squad on Friday, while Lampard hopes Kante’s return will be soon.
“He still has issues with his ankle and the medical team are working with him,” Lampard said before the Wolves win.
“He’s in a bit of a transitional period now where we’re trying to get him on the pitch and he’s doing some physical work but this game comes too soon for him.”