Chelsea are determined to have Antonio Rudiger fit and ready for their clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers in September.
According to a report from The Daily Mail, the Blues have earmarked the Premier League fixture as the target return date for the German, who underwent knee surgery towards the back-end of last season.
Rudiger had a solid campaign in central defence and established himself as a key player under Maurizio Sarri.
However, his chances of impressing new boss Frank Lampard will have to wait until a short while into the season, it seems, with a return before the first international break unlikely.
Chelsea are, as per the report, hopeful that Rudiger will be in contention to face Wolves at Molineux. But if he is unsuccessful in his efforts to recover in time, they are happy to reintegrate him in the following game against Liverpool.
The Daily Mail claims that Lampard has already had talks with the centre-back to reiterate how important he will be to his plans going forward at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's other current injury concerns
Loftus-Cheek will be hopeful of a return before the turn of the year. He has an Achilles injury.
Willian is understood to be nursing a hamstring problem. He will be keen to make his mark next season.
James has already undergone surgery on an ankle ligament injury. He will be desperate to cement his place in the Chelsea first team.
Hudson-Odoi is another who ruptured his Achilles tendon. The England international will hope to return in the opening stages of the season.
Kante is nearing a return to fitness but is not 100 per cent just yet. He has been nursing a knock to his knee.
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