Chelsea injury update: Christopher Nkunku, Romeo Lavia and Cole Palmer latest news and return dates

Chelsea responded from what Mauricio Pochettino described as the “worst” display of the season at Newcastle by beating Brighton on Sunday.

There continue to be reasons for optimism for the Blues, who seem capable of raising their game against the perhaps more fancied sides in the Premier League, capitulation at St James’ Park aside.

While there are frustrations in a lack of discipline and consistency, Chelsea are showing signs they can compete.

There also appears to be some easing of the injury crisis, too.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the latest on Chelsea injuries

Christopher Nkunku

Much is expected of summer signing Chirstopher Nkunku, who is yet to play competitively after a knee injury sustained in pre-season.

The Frenchman, however, is nearing a comeback and Pochettino confirmed he is “close” to playing.

"We need to assess tomorrow and then decide, they [Nkunku and Romeo Lavia] are close and tomorrow we will make a decision," Pochettino said.

Potential return date: December 2023

Romeo Lavia

Fellow new arrival Romeo Lavia is also closing in on a return as he prepares to make his debut.

The Belgian, however, is not quite as far along as Nkunku in his recovery.

"Lavia is maybe more difficult, but we need to assess Christopher Nkunku tomorrow,” added the Blues boss last week.

Potential return date: December 2023

Cole Palmer

Cole Palmer has hit the ground running at Chelsea but missed the Brighton win due to a knock picked up in training.

Potential return date: Unknown

Palmer has hit the ground running at Chelsea (Getty Images)
Palmer has hit the ground running at Chelsea (Getty Images)

Malo Gusto

Malo Gusto recently pulled out of the France squad for last month’s international break but was spotted in first-team training before the Brighton game.

Potential return date: December 2023

Ben Chilwell

Ben Chilwell impressed at the start of the season but, as has often been the case with the England international in recent years, was struck down with a hamstring injury.

“I cannot tell you [when he will be back],” said Pochettino last month.

“It is difficult to know. He is away from the training ground now and we will wait for him to come back to see the situation. Hopefully, he can recover as soon as possible."

Potential return date: Unknown

Chilwell was hit with a hamstring injury in September (AP)
Chilwell was hit with a hamstring injury in September (AP)

Trevoh Chalobah

Trevoh Chalobah isn’t expected to feature much in Pochettino’s first-team after almost leaving during the summer transfer window and recently suffered a setback to a thigh problem in training.

Potential return date: Unknown

Carney Chukwuemeka

Carney Chukwuemeka started the season but that progress has since been disrupted by injury.

The 20-year-old suffered a setback in his return from a knee problem, making his return date unclear at this stage.

Potential return date: Unknown

Welsey Fofana

It seems unlikely Welsey Fofana will play at all this season after sustaining an ACL injury in training but he was recently spotted back at Cobham, though the extent of his training sessions have been described by the club as “continuing to undergo his rehabilitation programme.”

A return towards the final stages of the season or into the summer seems likely.

Potential return date: Summer 2024