Chelsea forward Nkunku facing another spell on sidelines

Chelsea forward Christopher Nkunku faces another spell on the sidelines.

The summer signing had to wait until December for his Premier League debut, having suffered a knee injury during pre-season.

And a new injury has come to light since he appeared as a substitute in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Liverpool.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, boss Mauricio Pochettino suggested it was unclear how and when Nkunku suffered the injury.

Pressed on the nature and extent of the problem, Pochettino said: “We will assess it. We hope (he will be out for) three or four weeks, no more.”

Pochettino was speaking shortly after the club announced that Nkunku, 26, is “undergoing medical assessment”.

It continues a frustrating start to Nkunku’s Chelsea career – and his absence has not helped Pochettino during a difficult first season at the helm for the Argentine.

Pochettino admitted: “It’s difficult for him. When he arrived in pre-season he was flying until he got the knee injury.

“Now it’s nearly eight months (later) and even when he was ready to be involved again he was not the same player he was before.

“We have in our head the potential best Nkunku that everyone knows. But it’s not the same player (when he’s not fully fit).

“It’s not a good thing for us because we cannot provide to the team a player who can perform and score goals and can be important (when he’s fit).”