Mauricio Pochettino ‘worried’ by latest injury setback

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Christopher Nkunku has 10 caps for France

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino says he is “worried” about Christopher Nkunku’s latest setback.

The forward has made just one Premier League start since joining the club.

A knee injury sustained in pre-season kept Nkunku out for three months, and he missed Chelsea’s past two matches with a hip injury.

“We’re disappointed and a little bit worried because we want him involved again as soon as possible,” said Pochettino.

“We are still assessing him, we don’t know what is going to happen.

“It’s complicated with Christopher. It’s now between eight and 10 days since he could train.

“He was so close to feeling comfortable again, he started the game against Crystal Palace.”

The France international scored on his Premier League debut in the 2-1 defeat to Wolves on 24 December and he was handed his full debut three days later against Crystal Palace.

But a hip injury sustained in training ruled Nkunku out of the 4-0 FA Cup win against Preston last weekend and the League Cup semi-final defeat to Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

Though Nkunku has been ruled out of Saturday’s visit of Fulham to Stamford Bridge, Pochettino is hopeful that French centre-back Benoit Badiashile and long-term absentee Ben Chilwell can return to the matchday squad.

“The good news is having players like [Trevoh] Chalobah, Chilwell, Badiashile and [Carney] Chukwuemeka so close to being involved again and help the team to perform,” said Pochettino.

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