It had been thought that Christopher Nkunku and Romeo Lavia would be fully fit enough to be in the squad for Chelsea when they visit Newcastle United tomorrow. Alas, it is not to be, as manager Mauricio Pochettino ruled the pair out for the weekend. Neither player, who are both still yet to ever play competitive minutes for Chelsea, will make the trip to St. James Park. However, both are getting closer to a return.
It won’t be long until either Lavia or Nkunku are back in the team, as the duo are reportedly making good progressing in the reconditioning phase of their rehab process.
“He is doing things with the group” ?
Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino says Christopher Nkunku is not yet fit enough to make his Chelsea debut ?? pic.twitter.com/iBPOUBUBql
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 24, 2023
Chelsea FC at Newcastle United FYIs
Kick: Sat. Nov 25, 3pm, St. James Park
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Pochettino went on to say that Nkunku is “a bit ahead of Lavia” at this point. The pair are certainly not the only longer-term injury concerns that Chelsea have right now.
Not much has been disclosed about the specific nature of Trevoh Chalobah’s injuries, but he is apparently out indefinitely. Ben Chilwell, out until at least next month, continues to work on his rehabilitation. Carney Chukwuemeka, who had a great preseason, but has been sidelined for most of the regular season thus far, is still a ways away.
Finally, Wesley Fofana, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season, continues working on his rehabilitation.
While Chelsea are starting to get healthier as a squad, overall, the injury crisis is still substantial. The crisis has alleviated some, sure, but Pochettino still has plenty of key players missing, and it is easy to see why the Blues are slight underdogs tomorrow.
Prediction: Chelsea 2, Newcastle United 1
We’re calling the upset!
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now, while writing for the International Baseball Writers Association of America. You can follow the website on Twitter.