By Ben Dinnery

20th Oct, 2021 | 8:09am

Injury expert makes 'huge' Rudiger claim as Chelsea pictures emerge pre-Malmo

Antonio Rudiger will likely return to the Chelsea starting XI for tonight’s clash with Malmo.

That is according to injury expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in medicine and data analysis.

Images released by Chelsea on 18 October captured Rudiger back in training for the first time since the international break.

The 28-year-old centre-back missed last Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Brentford after he picked up a back injury while away with Germany.

Thiago Silva, who is also back in training, was absent against the Bees as he did not return from international duty with Brazil until late Friday.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was forced to hand the inexperienced Malang Sarr his Premier League debut in the win.

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But Dinnery predicts that the Blues will be boosted by Rudiger’s return to the backline in tonight’s Champions League Group H match.

“I don’t see any major issues here,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

“We know he’s played a lot of football this year. Alarm bells rang when he missed the final session before Germany’s game against North Macedonia.

“But Germany manager Hansi Flick played that down, dealt with it with a straight bat and said he would soon be back in contention.

“But he didn’t return to the matchday squad. However, I think the fact he’s only just returned to training for Chelsea is a precautionary measure.

“He is being managed. He has probably just had a nice week off to refresh, so there’s nothing major with regards to any downturn in sharpness.

“I think if Tuchel wants to use him in the Champions League, there’s no issue with bringing him straight back in.

“That will be huge for Tuchel because he has been so important for them. That is reflected in his minutes this season.”

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