Christopher Nkunku is expected to return from injury for Chelsea in time to play against Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup quarterfinal.
After making an impression in his first few preseason games, the Frenchman—who cost the Blues £52 million—joined from RB Leipzig. However, he later sustained a knee injury that required surgery.
Though manager Mauricio Pochettino recently announced the 25-year-old’s return to the pitch is ahead of schedule and is probably going to be after the November international break, it was initially thought that Nkunku would not return until 2024.
With a return to competitive action scheduled for the games earlier in the month, Chelsea hopes to see Nkunku start the Carabao Cup match against Newcastle on December 20.
This week, Chelsea announced that Nkunku has advanced to the next phase of his recovery. The Frenchman also shared the news on his social media accounts with the hashtag #gettingcloser.
Several Chelsea players, including Nkunku, have struggled with injuries in the first half of the season. Romeo Lavia, another summer signing, is still awaiting his Chelsea debut. After Lavia’s £58 million transfer from Southampton, a hamstring injury kept him from debuting on the pitch immediately. He was then forced to return to the treatment table after suffering an ankle setback during training.
Chelsea is unwilling to take any chances with the young Belgian, despite having thought that Lavia would have recovered by now. The midfielder won’t be returning during the international break, as Pochettino has previously stated, but the Blues want to see Lavia play in some minutes come December.
In the first two weeks of December, Chelsea will play league matches against Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester United, Everton, and Sheffield United. The team will next play a Premier League match against Newcastle on November 25.