26-year-old Chelsea injured defender could come back after one month

London club are weighing upbringing Antonio Rudiger’s injury come back forward after conceding four goals in their opening match defeat at the hands of Man United. Chelsea unable to sign new footballers until next summer due to a transfer ban.

Germany international underwent surgery on a knee injury earlier this year, which ruled him out of the final few games of the 2018/19 campaign, and he was pencilled in to come back against Wolverhampton in mid-September.

Antonio is reluctant to rush back until he feels his knee is 100% recovered, but the English manager is keeping a close eye on his progress to bring him back into the fold sooner rather than later.

Frank rated the 26-year-old defender highly and told the German centre-back over the summer that he is integral to his plans. The 4-0 defeat at the hands of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men alarmed the Blues legend, with Kurt coming in for heavy criticism as Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James all got on the scoresheet.

Lampard’s former team-mate Gianfranco Zola believes Kurt Zouma will struggle to hold down a place in the side when Antonio returns. ‘Certainly, Rudiger has got more experience. Kurt Zouma fouled Marcus Rashford for Man United’s penalty. ‘I think Antonio has a better understanding of Christensen.

‘I believe if they want to play out from the back, Rudiger and Andreas will be more suitable.’ Last season Antonio played 44 matches and scored one goal in all competitions. He is a regular member of the national team line-up.