Antonio Rudiger’s absence has been highlighted as one of the major issues that Chelsea have faced so far this season. The team has really struggled to defend over the summer and through into the season, and that hasn’t been helped by the fact that the Germany defender has been out injured.
Now he’s almost back, and he’s been training with the first team for a couple of weeks. HE also played for the development squad earlier this week. That’s lead plenty of people to speculate that he will return to Frank Lampard’s first team for this Saturday’s game with Norwich.
But looking at his words in a piece on the Chelsea official website, we’re not so sure.
While he confirms that he’s close to a return, the defender also said several things which we think hint that he’s still not quite there.
The former Roma says that he “needs to be patient” for one thing, and go “day by day”.
“Of course there is still game fitness missing, which is what I need to get better.”
Now he’s hardly ruled himself out, but it also sounds like he’s admitting he’s not there yet. Frank Lampard may well risk him, but as Rudiger says himself, “there’s no need to rush anything.”
Given it’s only Norwich, we reckon Frank gives his star defender another week and maybe another development squad game to return to fitness. On the other hand, if he’s ready for Dev Squad, why not throw him in against the Canaries and see how he gets on?