Chelsea head-coach Frank Lampard has been hit by a new injury blow with German centre-back Antonio Rudiger ruled out for one more month.
The German defender, who has played just 45 minutes of first-team football this campaign, had surgery on his groin problem on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old defender had been expected to make his comeback this week, however, now he won’t be able to make a return to football for the December.
Rudiger is now expected to be out until at least the end of November.
The German international has had a disastrous start to the 2019/20 season, after having knee surgery this summer.
He made his comeback from the lay-off against Wolves back in September but stretched his groin after slipping on a metal plate near the touchline.
In Rudiger’s absence, Chelsea boss has seen Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma forge a strong partnership at the defensive end.
Meanwhile, Chelsea star Mason Mount was forced off with an ankle injury during the Blues Champions League clash with Dutch giants Ajax on Tuesday evening.
The English playmaker has played a vital role in Frank Lampard’s side this campaign, however, may now be considered a doubt for Saturday’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace.
Earlier this campaign Mount injured his right ankle following a robust tackle from French defensive midfielder, Francis Coquelin during the Blues defeat at home to La Liga outfits Valencia in the Champions League in September.
And the playmaker has suffered another problem with the same ankle against Dutch giants as he collided with Donny van de Beek.
Asked for an update on Mount’s situation after the match, Lampard said: ‘I don’t know. He’s strapped his ankle and we hope it’s relatively minor, but that’s one for the morning.’