Mauricio Pochettino provides Christopher Nkunku update after fresh injury problem | Football

Nkunku missed the victory over Preston on Saturday (Picture: Getty)

Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful Christopher Nkunku will avoid another spell on the sidelines after a fresh injury concern for the Blues forward.

Nkunku, signed from RB Leipzig in a £52million deal in the summer, spent six months on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury which required surgery in pre-season.

He made his long-awaited debut off the bench against Wolves on Christmas Eve, featuring in Chelsea’s next three games but was absent from the squad for Saturday’s FA Cup third round clash with Preston.

Pochettino revealed post-match the France international missed out due to a hip problem which is set to rule him out of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg clash with Middlesbrough.

Nkunku has not returned to training since the hip problem emerged last week and while the club will continue to exercise caution over his return, Pochettino is confident it is not ‘a big issue’.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the Chelsea boss said: ‘No set back, it is not related to his previous injury.

‘It is a different problem, an issue in his hip, not his knee. Now we have to be cautious with him because it was six months that he was not involved.

Christopher Nkunku

Nkunku scored on his first game back against Wolves (Picture: Getty)

‘He is not going to be involved tomorrow, we will see for Saturday but we are not sure, we are going to be cautious with him.

‘Hopefully it is not a long period. But at the moment he is not training, he is doing recovery. But it is not a big issue.’

While the trip to Middlesbrough will come too soon, Chelsea will hope to have Nkunku available for the visit of Fulham next weekend.

Nicolas Jackson meanwhile has departed for the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal.

The Lions of Teranga begin their campaign against Gambia on 15 January.

MORE : Emmanuel Adebayor tells Chelsea and Arsenal target Victor Osimhen to move to the Premier League

MORE : Ivan Toney sends message to Arsenal and Chelsea ahead of return to football following gambling ban

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Twitter and Instagram.

Chelsea FC