Having overcome the knee problem that forced him to miss the start of the season, Rudiger managed just 45 minutes in Chelsea’s 5-2 victory over Wolves in mid-September before suffering the groin setback that has ruled him out ever since.
Either way, Rudiger is unlikely to seen in a Chelsea shirt again before late November at the earliest in a what will be a bitterly frustrating blow for the player. It also means that manager Frank Lampard continues to be without his most experienced centre-back.
Kurt Zouma, back at Stamford Bridge after two years out on loan, and home-grown academy graduate Fikayo Tomori have been the main beneficiaries of Rudiger’s prolonged absence. Danish international Andreas Christensen has also been called upon.
But Chelsea’s defence has been their Achilles heel this season. The Blues have leaked more goals than every other club in the top half of the Premier League, while only five teams in the entire division have conceded more than Chelsea’s 17 in the opening 11 games.
It was a similar story in the Champions League this week when Chelsea found themselves 4-1 down at home against Ajax and had to fight their way into the game to draw 4-4. A penalty in their favour and two red cards for the Dutch side was a huge help towards the comeback.
Yet while Rudiger remains out, there has been a fitness boost for Mason Mount. The 20-year-old England international suffered a suspected ankle injury during the Ajax game and had to be withdrawn. As such, there were doubts over his fitness to face Crystal Palace on Saturday.
However, it has been reported that Mount trained on Thursday and a verdict on his availability for the weekend will be given following a fitness test on Friday.
Source : 90min