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Frank Lampard’s squad has been boosted by the return of two injured players – Antonio Rudiger and Willian.
Rudiger has been sidelined since the end of last season with a meniscus injury, while Willian picked up a hamstring strain in the Copa America semifinals last month.
Both players didn’t feature in any pre-season game due to their injuries, but have now both returned to training with the first team ahead of the new season.
The intensity of their training is very limited as the fitness team will only try to bring them in gradually.
Rudiger was expected to be back by mid-September at the latest, but he is now way ahead of schedule, but definitely won’t be available for the season opener against Manchester United.
The German has been posting pictures of himself on social media doing some light running outside at the training ground all summer in a bid to step up his fitness having missed all of Chelsea’s pre-season campaign so far.
“Always focused on progress,” Rudiger tweeted in his latest fitness update.
“Taking another big step next week: training with the team again.”
Lampard currently has Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and David Luiz at his disposal in the centre-back position, and Rudiger will now join the competition for places. However, it’s looking like Luiz may exit the club this summer before the end of the transfer window, with reports linking him with a move to Chelsea rivals Arsenal.
According to L’Equipe, Chelsea defender David Luiz refused to train with Chelsea’s first-team as he looks to push through a move to Arsenal before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
The report claims Luiz is in advanced talks with Arsenal over a move to the Emirates and the 32-year-old had reportedly refused to show up at Chelsea’s Cobham training base as the club attempted to block his exit.