Rudiger edges closer to return from injury

first_imgChelsea centre-half Antonio Rudiger has stepped up his comeback from injury after completing the full 90 minutes in the Blues Under-23s’ win over Liverpool on Monday.In front of head coach Frank Lampard – who was watching on from the stands at Stamford Bridge – Germany international Rudiger made his first appearance since suffering a meniscus injury against Manchester United at Old Trafford in AprilHaving missed all of pre-season, Rudiger returned to full training at the start of August and came through unscathed as Chelsea’s development squad ran out 3-0 winners in Premier League 2 – with another senior squad member, Michy Batshuayi, scoring twice. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Back on the pitch for 90 min. thanks to the @ChelseaFC development squad   #cleansheet #homevictory #comebackwork #Hustle #AlwaysBelieve pic.twitter.com/UsjdfkrvLp — Antonio Rüdiger (@ToniRuediger) August 19, 2019 Rudiger’s comeback will be welcome news for Lampard, who is yet to win a competitive match in charge of Chelsea with losses to the Red Devils and Leicester City in the league and a Super Cup defeat against Liverpool.Lampard has had only three centre-backs  – Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and youngster Fikayo Temori – to choose from so far this campaign, with Cesar Azpilicueta naturally a right-back, following the sale of David Luiz to Arsenal and Gary Cahill’s free transfer to Crystal Palace.Christensen and Zouma have been the preferred pairing, though the latter has come in for some criticism after a costly mistake in the 4-0 defeat against Manchester United on the opening weekend.Former Blues defender Ashley Cole, who retired from football on Sunday, insists there is no cause for alarm at Chelsea  just yet, but there are issues for Lampard to address early on in his tenure in charge.”Chelsea have got the players and everyone expects them to be in the top four or six, but the Premier League has changed,” Cole said. “The manager needs time, the players need time and I don’t think everyone should panic yet.”With only one point in the league from the home draw against Leicester, the Blues will be keen to bounce back with a trip to Norwich on August 24.They will then host another promoted team, Sheffield United, on August 31 before a tough stretch of games involving Wolves and Liverpool. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more