The title says the he could “be back”, but really, he would be making his competitive debut for Chelsea. So it will be less of a come-back and more of wel-come, whenever Christopher Nkunku does finish his rehab from the knee injury that he picked up on the plastic pitch of Soldier Field in Chicago while being run over by Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels.
The initial timeline for Nkunku’s recovery was set at around four months back at the start of August, which put his potential return/debut in early December. And according to head coach Mauricio Pochettino, Nkunku’s right on track, if maybe even slightly ahead — and not a moment too soon!
“He is doing really, really well. He is working really hard. I think he is really close. I hope as soon as possible we can have him involved again. He is an important player for us. [... ] Maybe after the next international he will be involved. Maybe, maybe, it’s not sure.”
“[He] is a player that can provide goals and I think we are missing goals. [If] we have a different offensive player, today with maybe 8-10 goals from Nkunku this situation is completely different because they are the goals we are missing to be in a different position. Yes, unlucky but we cannot complain, we need to work, things can happen. Moving forward to recover him and to see if it is possible to help the team score more goals and to be in a different position in the table.”
-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Football.London
We looked our best in preseason when Nkunku started clicking with the rest of the team, so hopefully we can pick up right there if and when he does return. The next international break starts in two weeks, and we return to action the weekend before Thanksgiving, after which begins the long (and often far too congested) grind through the winter months. If we can have Nkunku back for the start of that run, perhaps things will be a bit less tooth-chatteringly shivery than usual.