Maurizio Sarri is hopeful Antonio Rudiger avoided a serious injury after he had to hobble out of Chelsea’s defeat at Liverpool on Sunday.
The Blues defender went down early in the Premier League clash at Anfield with a knee problem and, having attempted to play on, was replaced by Andreas Christensen before half-time.
A long-term absence would provide cause for concern for Chelsea as they chase Champions League qualification and the Europa League title, with head coach Sarri waiting for news.
“I hope it’s nothing serious but, at the moment, I am not able to say anything,” Sarri told a post-match news conference.
“We need another visit with the doctor and something else to be sure it’s not serious. I am not sure.”
Rudiger has started 32 times in the Premier League this season, establishing himself as a key man in the heart of Chelsea’s defence since his move for an €35million from Roma in 2017.
The Blues conceded to Sadio Mane’s header and Mohamed Salah’s superb strike to lose 2-0 after Rudiger’s withdrawal, leaving Sarri’s men fourth in the table.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 14, 2019
Chelsea are a point behind Tottenham, but just two points ahead of Manchester United, who have played a match less, and three clear of Arsenal, who have two games in hand.
Sarri’s spirits remained high despite his side’s defeat, the Italian adding: “Liverpool are one of the best teams in Europe at this moment. They played very well for 90 minutes but I think we stayed in the match very well.
“We were a little bit unlucky for the second goal, for the timing, and it was a wonderful goal.
“Then we were a little bit unlucky because, in three minutes, we had three goal opportunities, two with [Eden] Hazard and one with [Gonzalo] Higuain and we hit the post for the 35th time of our season.
“But I am really happy with the performance because we stayed in the match very well. Two or three months ago, we would not have done.
“It is really hard to cover the gap because, in England, the level is very high. Now we are really very close to the other teams.”
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