Maurizio Sarri has insisted that Chelsea did not rush Antonio Rudiger back too quickly and that the defender would have required knee surgery this summer even without his recent setback.
Rudiger returned against Manchester United on Sunday but limped off during the second half and will miss the rest of the season after undergoing an operation, ruling him out of the Europa League clash with Eintracht Frankfurt.
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Head coach Sarri said: “We tried to arrive at the end of the season but the injury was there. He has a problem with his meniscus – the meniscus was broken.
“We tried to arrive at the end of the season because sometimes you are able to do it – to play for one month.
“But the situation was the same. He was unlucky. But the situation with or without the (United) match was the same – he had to have surgery at the end of the season.”
Speaking at a press conference in Germany on the eve of the semi-final first leg Sarri said he was “very confident” Andreas Christensen is capable of replacing Rudiger.