Pochettino says Chelsea striker is close to return

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettno says striker Christian Nkunku is close to returning to action.

Nkunku is yet to feature this season following his £50 million summer move from RB Leipzig after suffering a serious knee injury during a pre-season friendly in the USA.

However, the 25-year-old could be in line to face Newcastle on November 25 after next month’s international break after making good progress with his rehabilitation following surgery in August.

“Nkunku is doing well and working hard,” Pochettino said.

“He is really close, but as soon as possible we hope to have him back.

“He is recovering quicker than we thought and after the next international break he will be involved”.  

Skipper Reece James made his return to the side from the bench in last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal but Pochettino said the England international is not in a position to start against Brentford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

“He’s not ready to start, but is really close but he will be on the bench,” he said.

Pochettino also confirmed striker Adrian Broja will remain sidelined with a knee injury.