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Chelsea suffer Antonio Rudiger injury blow during Wolves clash

Frank Lampard was forced to take Antonio Rudiger off at half-time (Picture: Getty)

Antonio Rudiger made his return to the Chelsea starting line-up against Wolves but only lasted 45 minutes as Frank Lampard was forced to replace him with Kurt Zouma at half-time.

Rudiger, who has been recovering from knee surgery back in April, made his first Premier League appearance of the season against Wolves as Lampard made four changes and switched the system to a 3-4-3 in an effort to shore up the Blues defence.

Only Norwich had conceded more goals so far this season but the shift appeared effective as a back-three of Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori kept Nuno Espirito Santos men at bay for the first half.

Tomori even grabbed a goal of his own while Tammy Abraham, who would go onto complete hat-trick, netted twice for the third consecutive game.

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But there was cause for concern when Rudiger did not emerge for the second half.

Instead, Zouma took his place in the back line and Rudiger eventually came back out to sit on the bench with an ice-pack on his groin.

Rudiger will now face a battle to be fit for Chelseas opening Champions League fixture of the group stages. They face Valencia on Tuesday.

Before the clash with Wolves, Lampard had talked up Rudigers importance both as a player and a figure of experience in the defence.

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