Antonio Rudiger suffered a knee injury earlier this year and underwent surgery, which in turn ruled the Chelsea defender out until around mid-September.
That would have been a blow for Frank Lampard on his arrival at Stamford Bridge this summer, as he would have ideally had his full squad available over pre-season.
However, that wasn’t to be with the German international, who sat out the Premier League opener against Man Utd at Old Trafford on Sunday as the Blues suffered a 4-0 defeat.
Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen weren’t able to provide a solid platform for Chelsea to go out and win the game, and now the Daily Mail report that Lampard could push Rudiger’s return date forward as it’s suggested that he was initially expected back against Wolves on September 14.
Given the defensive frailties shown at the weekend though, he could now be brought back into the side much earlier than first anticipated, although naturally the Chelsea medical staff will only give him the green light to return to action when they believe that he is ready.
The last thing that Chelsea need is for Rudiger to return too soon and suffer a setback which could sideline him for even longer, as with Lampard needing the experienced centre-half for his defensive solidity as well as his ability to play out from the back, he is being tipped to play a pivotal role moving forward.
Chelsea face Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night before hosting Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday followed by clashes with Norwich City and Sheffield United ahead of the international break.
With that Premier League schedule in mind, it could be argued that they should give Rudiger as much time as needed, as they should have the necessary quality to see off those sides and not have to rush him back and take what would be a possible gamble.