Frank Lampard on Friday poured cold water on Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger's reported claim that he is fit to return to action ahead of the Blues' trip to struggling Watford.
The 26-year-old German international has been restricted to just one appearance under new coach Lampard after first undergoing knee surgery and then suffering a pelvic injury, but had been quoted this week as saying he was fit and "itching to play".
"No, he's not fit. I saw the quotes, whether there was a miscommunication somewhere, he's not fit," said Lampard.
"He's going to see a consultant on Monday because he has an ongoing issue in his pelvic area which is bothering him so I was a bit surprised by the quotes. It's a miscommunication, he's not there."
Rudiger faces a battle to regain his first team place once he does recover, with Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori both impressing during a seven-game winning streak which came to a halt with their 2-1 League Cup defeat to Manchester United on Wednesday.
The pair will continue in the centre of defence for the trip to bottom side Watford, who Lampard is not taking lightly despite them failing to win in their opening 10 matches.
"We saw what they did last year, getting big results and regularly being a very strong team and making the FA Cup final," said Lampard.
"We cannot underestimate the team that will be hurting because they haven't won for a while and will have every ambition to try and win this game, so I certainly have even more focus on what we need to do."
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Ozan Kose