According to the Telegraph, Chelsea “believe” that Antonio Rüdiger “may not be ready” for the start of next season as he continues to recover from meniscus surgery.
The team are said to be “fearful” about this possibility, though at the same time it is acknowledged that Rüdiger hasn’t suffered a setback or anything of the sort. So if he’s right on track, it’s a bit weird that we would just now start to be concerned about this — unless we were hoping to rush him back (again), which may be the case as apparently Rüdiger is “determined not to rush back”.
Or perhaps we’re not really fearful at all since Andreas Christensen stepped up when it was needed last season, and will conceivably do the same at the start of the next as the Blues begin the season against Manchester United at Old Trafford, where Rüdiger went down two months ago, then travel to Istanbul to take on Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup three days later.
Chelsea should indeed be more careful this time, especially given the 26-year-old’s history of knee issues. Rüdiger was rushed back in just two weeks from the initial injury at Anfield in mid-April and ended up re-aggravating it at Old Trafford, ruling him out for the rest of the season.
It will be another long season at Stamford Bridge and missing our best center back for the first few games will not make a huge difference. Missing him for much longer will.