Christopher Nkunku injury: Chelsea hit with fresh blow ahead of crucial Leeds FA Cup tie | OneFootball

Christopher Nkunku injury: Chelsea hit with fresh blow ahead of crucial Leeds FA Cup tie | OneFootball

Icon: Evening Standard

Evening Standard

·27 February 2024

Christopher Nkunku injury: Chelsea hit with fresh blow ahead of crucial Leeds FA Cup tie

Article image:Christopher Nkunku injury: Chelsea hit with fresh blow ahead of crucial Leeds FA Cup tie
Article image:Christopher Nkunku injury: Chelsea hit with fresh blow ahead of crucial Leeds FA Cup tie

The French forward came on during Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final defeat to Liverpool, playing the final 23 minutes of normal time and the full 30 minutes of extra time.


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But Nkunku has now been ruled out for up to a month and Pochettino, speaking to reporters ahead of Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth-round clash, admitted to concerns over Nkunku’s ongoing fitness and struggles for form.

"We need to see and evaluate every day but he's out for three or four weeks,” the manager said. “We hope no more.

“It’s difficult for him. We watched him when he arrived in pre-season. He was flying on the training pitch until he got injured. Now it is nearly eight months and he has been involved again but he is not the same player as before.

Article image:Christopher Nkunku injury: Chelsea hit with fresh blow ahead of crucial Leeds FA Cup tie

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“We have in our head the amazing Nkunku from pre-season but it is not the same player because of the circumstances. That’s why it is sometimes unfair when we judge."

It is another huge blow for Nkunku, who has endured an injury-hit start to life at Chelsea and only made his debut in December despite arriving in the summer. Another niggle ruled him out of almost the entire of January and is now again struggling with fitness.

Nkunku will now miss Wednesday’s FA Cup clash against Leeds and a possible quarter-final should Chelsea progress. Premier League games against Brentford, Newcastle and Arsenal are also in doubt before facing Burnley at the end of March.

Also sidelined are Marc Cucurella and Thiago Silva, who are "in partial team training for reconditioning phase.” Benoit Badiashile, Carney Chukwuemeka, Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Romeo Lavia and Lesley Ugochukwu are all "continuing to undergo [their] rehabilitation programme".

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