Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has said that he hopes to have defender Antonio Rudiger back in around three weeks’ time as he recovers from an operation.
Rudiger has only made one Premier League appearance so far this season – coming against Wolves in September – due to persistent injury problems, with the defender’s only other outings coming for the Blues‘ Under-23 side in August.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Friday, however, Lampard was hopeful that the 26-year-old is now on the right track after taking action over his injury.
“He had an operation and he’s going to be out around three weeks, hopefully,” the manager said.
“And we’ll see how the match fitness comes in then because it’s a long time Toni has been out now but I think it was nice to get something definitive about it.
“We’ve been trying to find a solution, Toni’s been having some issues. It’s not easy for a player in that position, so hopefully we are at that case now and in three weeks we’re in a lot better place.”
Lampard was previewing his side’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday and he confirmed that Mason Mount – who limped out of Tuesday’s 4-4 Champions League draw with Ajax – is in the squad to face the Eagles.
However, Ross Barkley will again miss out and with both players being named in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad, Lampard said he is going to speak about their potential involvement in the Three Lions’ upcoming games.
“Ross has got an ongoing issue so he’s not in the squad tomorrow,” the manager added. “It’s a conversation that I will have with Gareth or Steve [Holland] with Ross to see how it pans out for him over the next 10 days.
“With Mason, he’s in the squad. We’re giving him another 24 hours and we’ll make a call on that one in the morning.”
Chelsea can move into second in the Premier League table with victory against Palace, ahead of Leicester and Manchester City’s games later in the weekend.