Chukwuemeka, Mudryk, Lavia - Chelsea injury news and return dates before EFL Cup tie


Chelsea face a quick turnaround this week when they welcome League Two side AFC Wimbledon to Stamford Bridge in the EFL Cup.

The Blues registered their first win of the new Premier League season on Friday as they beat Luton Town 3-0, hopeful that it will give them a platform to build from.

Given their recent luck with injuries, Mauricio Pochettino will be thankful that his side got themselves out of the tie without any other concerns. Attention now turns to domestic cup action and there could be a number of changes to the team before facing Nottingham Forest in the league.

So, with that being said, has taken a look at the latest injury news at Chelsea.

Romeo Lavia

Having joined the Blues last week, the 19-year-old has yet to play any minutes under Pochettino due to the manager wanting him to get his fitness level up to the rest of the squad before he gets involved fully.

What Pochettino has said (August 24): "He needs a few weeks to be ready to be involved with the team. He is working to try and catch his teammates. For Romeo we need to wait a few weeks."

Expected return date: End of September

READ MORE: Mauricio Pochettino hatches Chelsea transfer plan to sign Reece James replacement with £30m move

Mykhailo Mudryk

Mudryk was absent from the Blues' opening training session on Wednesday and it's not been confirmed what his injury is. He did however update fans on social media with a cryptic message that indicated he'd be returning sooner rather than later to the teamsheet.

What Pochettino has said (August 24): "I think maybe a few days. He is not going to be available for tomorrow. Very disappointed because of the situation, he played 45 minutes against West Ham.

"He is a player we hope to help play in the way believe he can perform. Disappointed but at the same time it is not a big issue. Maybe one week or a few days."

Expected return date: Nottingham Forest (H) - September 2

Reece James

Still recovering from his hamstring injury he suffered in training two weeks ago, James did update supporters with a message on his Instagram, promising he'd come back 'better'. He was also spotted at Stamford Bridge during the Luton match sat alongside Todd Boehly, John Terry and Romeo Lavia.

What James said (August 25): "Missing being out there but working hard to come back stronger than before, both physically and mentally. Stay well and I'll see you soon. The marathon continues."

What Pochettino has said (August 18): "I think it's a sad moment because he's our captain. He was so excited to be a captain, full of energy. I think we are going to assess him day-by-day as well as possible. For sure, he is going to become stronger than he was, we are going to help him to become stronger than before."

Expected return date: N/A

Armando Broja

Armando Broja hasn't been seen in a Blues shirt since last December following his ACL injury against Aston Villa in a friendly. But over the last week, he's been back in training with the senior squad and is set to return to battle with Nicolas Jackson for the starting spot.

What Pochettino has said (August 24): "We need to wait also. He's close but sometimes you are close but last step is difficult after the injury he suffered. He has trained well, we have hope also.

"That is why we are assessing the squad and all of the things that happen. It is easy to say we need another offensive players, but I think we have offensive players and they need to recover.

"If you bring in a player that is not fit or needs to adapt to the Premier League, maybe you are going to spend the same time you wait for Broja, or Nkunku or Carney. Then you are going to create a mess in the squad. That is why we are working really hard to analyse the situation."

Expected return date: Nottingham Forest (H) - September 2

Benoit Badiashile

Sidelined for the start of the season following his hamstring injury he suffered towards the end of last season, Badiashile is another who has recently come back to training and will want to make himself available as soon as possible to help Pochettino with some defensive squad depth.

Expected return date: Nottingham Forest (H) - September 2

Carney Chukwuemeka

The Blues midfielder was the only goalscorer in the side's 3-1 loss to West Ham but a serious knee injury just before halftime saw him leave the London Stadium on crutches. understands that Chukwuemeka is expected to be out for a possible six weeks but due to the international breaks coming up, he might only miss five or six games before making a swift return.

What the club has said: "I think it is not an issue that will take months, maybe weeks. I hope we can be as soon as possible with the team again. He scored and then he got injured. Things happen that you cannot manage.

"A little bit unlucky but I think he can become stronger because he feeling the way he needs to work and compete, he is young and for sure he will be much better when we start again."

Expected return date: October

Christopher Nkunku

Nkunku has been sidelined since being subbed against Borussia Dortmund in the club's final pre-season game. A major blow to the Blues' squad after arriving for over £60million in the summer, Pochettino admitted he'd be sorely missed in the first half of the season.

What Pochettino has said: "We feel very sorry about him. He was doing well, he was very important player for us. I think the quality is there, one of the best offensive players that can play in different positions always is a big issue for us. Now it's about not thinking too much about the injuries and being positive about when he can be again with us and recover as soon as possible in a good way.

"We are working in the market also, we are going to miss one player like this. The club is working, trying to find a solution, maybe short term, medium and long term to add the right profile for the team to perform for now."

What Nkunku has said (August 15): "As you can imagine, I'm so disappointed not to be able to be with my team-mates during the start of the season. It's hard not to have been able to meet you guys at the Bridge. I will work hard to come back stronger. It’s only a matter of time."

Expected return date: January 2024

Wesley Fofana

Fofana is set for another significant spell on the sidelines after rupturing his ACL.

What Pochettino has said: "Really sad, really bad news. We feel so sad. We can only help him and to be again with the team we know it is tough. We need to help him and wish him all the best. We need to keep going, the competition is there. The competition doesn't wait for anyone and we need to be ready.

"I hope yes. You have all of the information that this is difficult. He is evolving in a different way but hopefully his recovery goes very well."

Expected return date: Spring 2024

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