Chelsea learn how long Christopher Nkunku will be out for after latest injury | Football

Nkunku struggled with a hip problem in training (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea forward Christopher Nkunku is expected to be back in action in the coming days with the hip problem that ruled him out on Saturday not a serious one.

The Blues eased to a 4-0 win over Preston in their FA Cup third round clash but Nkunku was left out of the squad. Mauricio Pochettino revealed post-match the France international had suffered a hip injury in training.

‘Nkunku, we don’t want to put pressure on him,’ Pochettino said after the win against Preston.

‘We know it is difficult after a long time injured. Six months away [and] now he wasn’t involved because he suffered a problem in his hip in training.

‘We need to see if he can be ready for the next few games.’

Nkunku joined Chelsea from RB Leipzig last summer but has endured an injury-hit first season at Stamford Bridge, missing the first four months of the campaign.

The 26-year-old started Chelsea’s last four games ahead of the visit of Preston but his absence on Saturday was a precautionary measure, RMC Sport report.

Christopher Nkunku

Nkunku scored his first goal for the club against Wolves (Picture: Getty)

Nkunku felt discomfort in his hip during training this week but is thought to be nothing serious. The Frenchman is expected to be available again next week, possibly as early as Tuesday night away to Middlesbrough in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final clash.

Should that game come too soon, Nkunku is expected to be back for the visit of Fulham on Saturday afternoon.

Nkunku scored in his first game back in the Christmas Eve defeat to Wolves in one of his three appearances off the bench, having also started against Crystal Palace.

Pochettino has resisted the urge to throw Nkunku straight into his starting XI, insisting they will exercise cautious with the forward after his long spell out.

‘The circumstances are really tough,’ he said.

‘They need to play to get to their best and we cannot provide this game time 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 realise how tough it is.’


MORE : Why Christopher Nkunku was not in Chelsea squad for win over Preston


MORE : Mauricio Pochettino coy about Chelsea signing Jordan Henderson in January

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