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Christopher Nkunku injury concern grows as Chelsea handed quadruple fitness boost for Fulham clash



(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino could welcome back up to three players from injury for Chelsea’s Premier League clash against Fulham, however Christopher Nkunku will remain sidelined.

Chelsea are looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat in midweek as they fell to a 1-0 loss to Championship side Middlesbrough in the 1st leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final tie.

They return to Stamford Bridge for a west London derby against neighbours Fulham, who are currently 13th in the Premier League.

Injury problems have affected Chelsea this season, however in recent weeks Pochettino has seen the likes of Ben Chilwell and Carney Chukwuemeka return to the grass at Cobham, while Benoit Badiashile suffered a setback after making a comeback.

Pochettino offered a positive update on the trio, as well as Trevoh Chalobah who has not played a single minute this season, and confirmed their availability status for Saturday’s early-kick off.

“Yes, good news about Chilwell and Ben (Badiashile). We need to assess Carney Chukwuemeka if he will be available or not.

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“But Chilly and Benoit I think yes, for sure, they will be involved in the squad.

“Also, the good news is that Trevoh Chalobah has started to work with the group. We need to assess day by day to see if he can help us. But he doing well. He’s been training now with the group.”

However, Pochettino‘s concern over Nkunku, who missed the first part of the season due to a knee injury in pre-season, is growing after an initial hip injury which looked minor, has seen the France international miss over a week’s worth of training and leaves him sidelined once again for Chelsea’s fixture at home to Fulham.

Pochettino added: “I do worry about the situation of Nkunku. I think it’s now (been) 10 days he cannot train. We are assessing him. We don’t know what’s going to happen.

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The Chelsea head coach continued: “I’m a little bit worried about the situation of Nkunku but I think it’s good news that players like Chalobah, Chilwell, Badiashile and Chukwuemeka. They are so close to being involved again and help the team perform.

“It was a small issue and it complicated and it’s been between eight and 10 days (since he trained). We were waiting for him for six months and he was so close again to feeling comfortable. He started the game against Palace and of course, disappointed with that. We want him as quick as possible to be involved again.”