Mauricio Pochettino has disclosed that Christopher Nkunku has encountered a recent hip injury, leading to his absence from Chelsea’s FA Cup match against Preston.
The French forward did not play any role as the Blues secured a 4-0 victory against the Championship club at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Pochettino confirmed that Nkunku’s absence was due to a new injury setback.
Pochettino explains the ‘situation’ at Chelsea with Nkunku and others’ injuries
“It’s really tough, I think you empathise with us. The circumstances are really tough. Sometimes it is difficult to explain to you and you to translate to our fans,” he said in a press conference.
“Nkunku, we don’t want to put pressure on him. We know it is difficult after a long time injured. Six months away, like now he wasn’t involved because he suffered after training a problem in his hip and we need to see if he can be ready for the next few games. They need to play also to get the best and we cannot provide this gametime to players that need to go and feel competition because we need to win. Sometimes it’s really tough to explain to the players who feel the pressure to perform and to play. Sometimes it is difficult to explain but if you understand football you realize how tough it is.”
The most recent injury is a significant cause for worry for both Nkunku and Chelsea. The French international has faced challenges since his arrival at Chelsea from RB Leipzig in the summer transfer window. Initially sidelined with a knee injury sustained in pre-season, he didn’t make his debut until December 24. So far, he has only played four times for the Blues.
Chelsea is optimistic about Nkunku’s swift return, especially as Pochettino’s squad will face Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday. With nine other key first-team players already sidelined due to injuries, the Argentine manager is facing a challenging situation and hopes that Nkunku’s absence won’t extend for an extended period.