Mauricio Pochettino provides Chelsea injury latest on Ben Chilwell, Romeo Lavia and Christopher Nkunku

Ben Chilwell is still not back from his current injury (Picture: Getty Images)

Christopher Nkunku will not start for Chelsea against Preston on Saturday, while they are still without the likes of Ben Chilwell, Carney Chukwuemeka and Romeo Lavia due to injury.

Chelsea, like many Premier League teams, are struggling with a long list of injuries, and it is not getting any shorter ahead of their FA Cup meeting with Preston this weekend.

Some players are nearing a return to fitness, but are not quite there, as Pochettino confirmed at a press conference on Friday afternoon.

‘Chilwell and Carney are not available for tomorrow,’ said the Blues boss. ‘We will see for the next game, Middlesbrough in the [Carabao Cup] semi-final or Fulham.

‘They are doing well, training with the group the last few days and we are happy with their evolution.

‘Lavia is recovering after his injury. We don’t know when he will be available again. Problem in his quad during the game against [Crystal] Palace.’

Asked if there was any further injury news, Pochettino said: ‘No. At the moment. Players like Benoit [Badiashile] I think is going to be available next week. I don’t know…no, nothing new.’

Romeo Lavia has made just one Chelsea appearance since his summer move (Picture: Getty Images)

However, Pochettino did reveal that Christopher Nkunku will not start at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, while he is not out, the forward had ‘issues’ during the week.

‘I am going to tell you Christoph is not going to start tomorrow as he suffered issues during the week but he is going to be in the squad,’ said Pochettino. ‘We need to be carefull with him.’

Still sidelined for the Blues are the likes of Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Marc Cucurella, Robert Sanchez, Lesley Ugochukwu and Trevoh Chalobah, while Nicolas Jackson has joined the Senegal team at the Africa Cup of Nations.

With Jackson away and Nkunku not fully fit, Pochettino talked up the opportunity for Armando Broja to shine in their absence.

‘Armando has the possibility to be more involved as he is one of our main striker,’ he said. ‘Amazing potential and qualities and now is to forget his injury of last year.’


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