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'Rudiger is fit to play' - Lampard says

Antonio Rudiger is ready to return from the knee injury he suffered in April and could feature against Wolves on Saturday, head coach Frank Lampard confirmed.




Germany international Rudiger needed surgery on the meniscus of his left knee after suffering the injury in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on April 28, subsequently ruling him out of the final month of the 2018-19 season.

But having featured in a couple of Chelsea Under-23s games, Rudiger is ready for first-team action.

"Rudiger is fit to play," Lampard told reporters at his pre-match news conference on Friday. "That's obviously a choice for me [if he starts], but he'll have an important role because of his personality, character and quality as an international defender.

"We have missed him, as we have with a few more frontline players. It is important as a team, everyone talks about how young we are and becoming, I don't want a young team for the sake of it.

"I want leaders within that. Rudiger isn't old but he certainly needs to take on the responsibility of being a leader.

"I see it in his personality that he has. It has to be channelled in the right direction and he can then be very influential for the team and also for the likes of [Callum] Hudson-Odoi, [Mason] Mount and [Fikayo] Tomori. This happens when you become more experienced and he is ready to take on those roles."

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