Mauricio Pochettino is eager to have Christopher Nkunku return to the Chelsea starting lineup as soon as possible. Both Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson have expressed their support for Nkunku, who recently provided a significant update on his recovery journey. The 25-year-old forward suffered a knee injury during Chelsea’s final pre-season match against Borussia Dortmund.
Mauricio Pochettino set for fitness boost with £29m Chelsea player expected to be fit for Aston Villa
Nkunku has undergone surgery and has now intensified his rehabilitation process with the Chelsea medical team. Unfortunately, it is expected that the French international will be sidelined for several months, dealing a significant blow to Chelsea’s aspirations of securing a Champions League qualification spot for the season.
Mauricio Pochettino has felt the absence of Nkunku, as Chelsea has not displayed the same form they exhibited during their impressive performances in the United States earlier in the summer. Speaking to the media before Chelsea’s match against Liverpool on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, the former Tottenham manager expressed his sympathy, saying, “We feel very sorry about him. He was very important for us. Now it’s about not dwelling on the injuries and maintaining a positive outlook on his potential return as soon as possible.”
In Nkunku’s absence, Chelsea signed Cole Palmer from Manchester City. The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has made brief appearances as a substitute since joining Stamford Bridge, but he is expected to play a more prominent role once he becomes fully match-fit. However, when Nkunku returns, which may happen in the winter, Palmer will face strong competition for a spot in the starting lineup. Nkunku’s recent Instagram post suggests that his return could be sooner than expected, as he wrote, “In progress…⌛,” alongside a series of pictures showing him working out in the gym, in the swimming pool, and undergoing a medical examination.
Notably, Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Jackson, and Ian Maatsen showed their support for Nkunku in the comments section of his post, offering heartfelt messages accompanied by fire and praying emojis.