Good news as Mauricio Pochettino gives another positive Christopher Nkunku update
Head coach Mauricio Pochettino has hinted that Christopher Nkunku may not be far away from making his Chelsea debut.
After a deal was agreed for the France international during the 2022-23 campaign, he formally joined the Blues in the summer.
However, after a number of impressive outings in pre-season, Nkunku sustained a knee injury during the club’s final fixture of their tour of the United States.
Chelsea soon announced that Nkunku faced the prospect of a minimum of four months on the sidelines, handing Pochettino a huge blow after the former RB Leipzig had started to develop a productive partnership with Nicolas Jackson.
His absence was felt during the opening weeks of the season as Chelsea struggled for goals, that issue only being rectified either side of the October international break.
Nkunku suffered the knee issue on August 3, meaning that a return at the start of December was initially felt as being a best-case scenario.
Nevertheless, Nkunku was seen on the grass at Chelsea’s training ground on Thursday, an indication that he is making progress in his recovery.
Although there is no prospect of the 25-year-old playing any part in the first team before the November international break, Pochettino has hinted that the versatile attacker could be ready later in the month.
Speaking to reporters, Pochettino said: “He is doing really really well, and working really really hard. I think he is close, I hope he can be involved as soon as possible. He is an important player for us.”
Pochettino added that fellow forward option Armando Broja would again miss out as he continues to try to overcome another knee issue.
The Albania international has suffered an injury to the opposite knee that kept him out from December to September, Broja having a cruciate ligament injury on that occasion.
Jackson will hope to return to Chelsea’s starting lineup against Brentford on Saturday afternoon having had a further week to build up his fitness after a brief period away from training due to a wrist operation.
Should the former Villarreal man feature versus the Bees, one of Raheem Sterling or Mykhaylo Mudryk would likely drop down to the substitutes’ bench.