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Christopher Nkunku injury: Progress & potential return date for Chelsea forward



The perpetual misery of 2022/23 has been usurped by sprouting optimism at Chelsea heading into the new season.

The manager lauded as “magic” throughout his Tottenham tenure has quickly waved his wand in west London and imprinted his principles on a previously broken squad.

Mauricio Pochettino’s rebuild will undoubtedly take time, but the initial signs are hugely promising with new arrivals Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson playing leading roles in pre-season. However, there are some concerns over the injury picked up by the former RB Leipzig star in the Blues’ 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night.

Christopher Nkunku

Nkunku was forced off in the first half against Dortmund / Matthew Ashton – AMA/GettyImages

There have been several complaints about the playing surfaces over in the US where many Premier League clubs went on tour this summer, with Nkunku perhaps being the latest to suffer as a result of the turf.

The Frenchman was forced off midway through the first half of Chelsea’s clash with Dortmund in Chicago with apparent knee discomfort. While Pochettino noted post-match that he hopes Nkunku will swiftly return to action, it’s not yet clear how serious the attacker’s injury is and whether he’ll spend any time on the sidelines.

“The doctors are checking him and I hope it is not a big issue,” Pochettino said. “He fell in the action which was maybe a penalty and he feels something in his knee but we hope it is nothing big.”

“We hope he can be back quickly with the team. We need a few days to assess him,” he added.

Nkunku was pictured walking around the pitch with a limp later on in the contest. For now, his status for Chelsea’s Premier League opener against Liverpool on 13 August is in doubt.


Chelsea enjoyed a hugely successful pre-season tour as they claimed victory in the inaugural Premier League Summer Series out in the US.

The Blues impressed against Brighton in a 4-3 win, eased past Fulham 2-0 and drew 1-1 with Newcastle to win the summer tournament.

Poch’s side then remained in the country to face off against Borussia Dortmund at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, on Wednesday night. The Germans took a late lead through Marius Wolf before 19-year-old Mason Burstow snatched an 89th-minute equaliser.

It’s not just the results, but the performances which have been hugely encouraging. While Chelsea were a tough watch in 2022/23, Pochettino’s influence will certainly increase their watchability next season and beyond. The Argentine has already had a distinct impact.


On this edition of Son of Chelsea, part of the 90min podcast network, Daniel Childs reacts to the latest Chelsea news, including Levi Colwill signing a new contract, the pursuit of Moises Caicedo and the touted Dusan Vlahovic-Romelu Lukaku swap deal.

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

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