Chelsea Football Club has this evening released the following statement:
Toni Rudiger successfully underwent surgery on his left knee meniscus today. He will miss the rest of this campaign and will rehab over the summer to be back early next season.
The injury suffered by Rudiger during the weekend game against Manchester United will prevent the player taking part in any of Chelsea’s remaining fixtures this season.
The German international centre-back was forced off after 65 minutes of Sunday’s Premier League encounter at Old Trafford due to a knee injury.
He had just returned following an injury which meant a similar withdrawal during the previous away league game against Liverpool at Anfield. That had led to the 26-year-old missing the home matches against Slavia Prague and Burnley.
Now Rudiger is ruled out of the final two Premier League games, at home to Watford on Sunday and away against Leicester a week later, as the Blues attempt to secure the top-four position which is currently ours. He will also be absent for the Europa League visit to his homeland this week and the return leg against Eintracht Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge.
Rudiger has been a regular in the side this season, having started 33 of the 36 league games and 44 in all competitions, but his absence in the past month has meant an opportunity for Andreas Christensen who is another player with plenty of experience of taking on Bundesliga sides. The young Dane spent two successful seasons on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach between 2015 and 2017.
Maurizio Sarri is likely to be asked about losing Rudiger for the rest of the season when he speaks to the media tomorrow evening in Frankfurt, shortly after arriving there for the first leg of our Europa League semi-final.
The manager’s words will be reported here and in The 5th Stand.