Chelsea injury update: Christopher Nkunku, Romeo Lavia, Reece James latest news and return dates

Chelsea have a week to mull over another underwhelming performance as the pressure mounts on manager Mauricio Pochettino.

A narrow win over Leeds last week saw the Blues again flatter to deceive but still make the FA Cup quarter-finals, before being held 2-2 by a Brentford team who had lost 11 of 14 games heading into the fixture.

Pochettino appears to have lost large sections of the fanbase, and his task is not getting much easier with fresh injuries cropping up before facing Newcastle on Monday.

Here’s the latest on fitness news from the Blues...

Christopher Nkunku

The summer signing was last week ruled out for up to a month after picking up an injury in the Carabao Cup Final defeat to Liverpool.

Speaking a couple of days later, Pochettino said: "We need to see and evaluate every day but he's out for three or four weeks. We hope no more.

“It’s difficult for him. We watched him when he arrived in pre-season. He was flying on the training pitch until he got injured. Now it is nearly eight months and he has been involved again but he is not the same player as before.

Updating reporters on Nkuku three days later, Pochettino said: "He suffered a problem in his hamstring, and now we will see if in a few weeks he can be available again; he has been doing recovery since Sunday."

Potential return date: March 30 vs Burnley

Romeo Lavia has barely featured this season (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Romeo Lavia has barely featured this season (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Romeo Lavia

Fellow summer signing Romeo Lavia has also had a torrid time with injuries, having been forced to wait until December for his debut - much like Nkunku - only to pick up another injury during the game and subsequently ruled out for months.

Pochettino told reporters last month that Lavia is yet to return to first-team training, and the player then posted on X: "Received a lot of support messages and I wanted to let you know that it means a lot to me.

"I’m gutted not to be able to help the team, but I’m fully focused on coming back. The wait will be worth it..."

Potential return date: Unknown

Reece James

The right-back was named Chelsea captain by Pochettino last summer but has rarely been able to wear the armband due to a string of injuries.

His latest hamstring injury has seen him sidelined since December, and required surgery, and the initial hope was three months out. That would bring us to the end of this month before a return to training.

There has been no update to that timeline.

Potential return date: April 2024

Reece James went under the knife in December (Getty Images)
Reece James went under the knife in December (Getty Images)

Carney Chukwuemeka

Carney Chukwuemeka twisted his ankle in training last month and has since been sidelined, missing the Carabao Cup Final in the process.

Potential return date: Unknown

Lesley Ugochukwu

Lesley Ugochukwu was expected to miss around six weeks of action following a hamstring injury picked up away at Wolves on Christmas Eve.

That timeline has now elapsed but there has been no update as to a potential return.

Potential return date: Unknown

Wesley Fofana

Wesley Fofana underwent surgery before the start of pre-season in another huge blow for the player.

Speaking to reporters last week, Pochettino confirmed the defender is not expected to play this season.

“Unfortunately, I think it is difficult to see Wes playing this season, but you never know,” he said.

Potential return date: Summer 2024