Wolfsburg, Chelsea and Atletico target Antonio Rudiger undergoes operation

Stuttgart defender Antonio Rudiger may miss the start of the season -- and miss out on a summer transfer -- after being told he requires knee surgery.

Germany international Rudiger, who has been linked with clubs including Wolfsburg, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, reported back for preseason duty on Tuesday only to discover he needed an operation.

The 22-year-old was complaining about pain in his knee during his first training session and tests revealed slight damage which an arthroscopy on Thursday should resolve.

"It's only going to be a small intervention," Stuttgart director of sport Robin Dutt said on the club's website. "It will not result in a long lay-off.

"All involved agree that the health of the player and his quick recovery have to be the priority."

Rudiger will need to rest for around four weeks, meaning he will not resume training until a matter of days before the start of the new Bundesliga campaign.

The player suffered a similar injury last December and needed several months to recover.