Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is reportedly in line to make his comeback from injury when the Blues face Watford this weekend.
The 26-year-old has been dogged by injuries so far this season, which in turn has led to him being limited to just one appearance.
However, it appears as though the German international has now put his groin and knee problems behind him and could be in contention to make his comeback this weekend for the clash with Watford.
Frank Lampard’s men have coped well without him as they’ve moved up to fourth place in the Premier League table and are progressing well in the Champions League.
That said, they’ve conceded 16 goals in their 10 league games thus far, which is double the figures from the likes of Liverpool, Man City and Leicester City.
In turn, if they wish to compete for major honours and take that step forward, they’ll need to try and shore things up at the back to become a more difficult side to break down and that is where Rudiger comes into play.
Given his experience, quality and presence in that department, it will surely be considered a huge boost for Lampard to have him back available, and that could be the case as early as this weekend.
As noted by The Sun, the 26-year-old has trained all week without suffering any setbacks and that has now seemingly given him the confidence to insist that the worst is behind him.
“It is very long now,” he is quoted as saying in the report above. “Even with my cruciate ligament rupture, I was not out for so long.
“I’m itching but very patient.”
It’s added that Chelsea could get a double boost with N’Golo Kante edging closer to returning to training as well, but the Watford game will likely come too soon for him.
Nevertheless, whether it’s partnering Fikayo Tomori or Kurt Zouma, Rudiger’s presence in the starting XI will surely be a crucial boost for Chelsea to try and add a balance to their side and it could come as early as this weekend, although they will also surely be cautious to avoid any late setbacks.