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'Not much holiday for me' – Chelsea's Rudiger targets full fitness ahead of new season

08:55 IST 30/05/2019
Antonio Rudiger Chelsea Europa League final 2018-19
The imposing defender has been sidelined with a meniscus injury since April but is hopeful he can feature from the beginning of the next campaign

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has stated that he is 'very happy' with his ongoing recovery from knee surgery and insists that he will do everything in his power across the summer to be fit for the 2019-20 season.

The Germany international has been out of action since being injured in the Blues' 1-1 draw with Manchester United in April, suffering a meniscus tear that saw the 26-year-old sent to Rome for an operation.

The Stamford Bridge side have coped well without Rudiger's imposing presence, sealing a third-place finish in the Premier League to secure Champions League football for next term as well as lifting the Europa League with a 4-1 triumph over Arsenal on Wednesday.

Speaking in Azerbaijan, the centre-back made clear that he will not be putting his feet up during the off-season as he targets full fitness ahead of the new campaign.

“Everything is going well, I'm very very happy with the process and hoping to be back as soon as possible,” he said, speaking to Chelsea's official Twitter account in Baku.

“They [the surgeons] went into my knee, so I have to wait and see for the [healing] process and the only one who decides is my knee itself!

“It's not my first operation, I'm experienced in this. I can be very happy at the time when it happens [returning to full fitness]. 

“There's never a good time for an injury, but this time I'm very happy so I can be fit for the new season.

“[Being ready for the next campaign] is my target, my aim - there's not much holiday for me. I just want to be as soon as possible back on the pitch, stronger and better.”

Rudiger may indeed return stronger than before but the same might not be said about Chelsea themselves, who appear resigned to losing star man Eden Hazard to Real Madrid during the summer transfer window.

Indeed, the Belgian himself admitted after the Europa League final that he may have played his last game for the club , while there are also questions hanging over the future of Maurizio Sarri, with Juventus interested in the Italian taking over from Massimiliano Allegri.