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Christopher Nkunku, Cole Palmer and Romeo Lavia send Chelsea star message upon return from knock



Carney Chukwuemeka has recently returned from a knee injury which he suffered in August – and it’s fair to say that he’s been missed by his teammates

Christopher Nkunku, Cole Palmer and Romeo Lavia have all welcomed Carney Chukwuemeka back to Chelsea first-team training with messages of support. The 19-year-old midfielder suffered a injury during the Blues’ clash against West Ham in August.

Just moments after a collision with Emerson Palmieri, Chukwuemeka fell to the ground holding his left knee and he quickly received some medical attention. The England Under-20 international was helped off the pitch by several members of staff, and he was later spotted leaving the London Stadium on crutches.

Following various scans, he eventually underwent surgery before beginning a specialised rehabilitation plan. Fast-forward six-weeks or so and Chukwuemeka has finally returned to first-team training at Cobham – and it’s fair to say that he’s been missed by his teammates.

The teenager marked his return from the treatment room with a celebratory post on Instagram. Nkunku, Palmer, Lavia, Malo Gusto, Axel Disasi, Ian Maatsen, Noni Madueke, Lesley Ugochukwu, Diego Moreira and Omari Hutchinson all showed their support for him in the comment section.

It remains to be seen whether Chukwuemeka will feature against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Monday night, but his return comes as a huge boost to Pochettino, who’s looking to turn things around at Chelsea. Ahead of the west London derby, the Blues boss confirmed that he’s hopeful the youngster will be ready.

“Hope that maybe Carney and of course Noni, also, after his injury when he came back from the national team,” said Pochettino. “He is getting ready, working hard. Yes, hope these two players maybe will be available for selection on Monday.”

Then, when asked how significant the win over Brighton was, Pochettino replied: “I think it was a really important victory, not only because that victory puts us into the next round of the Carabao Cup, but to build our trust and for our confidence.

“I think another solid performance which we translate into a victory which the players need, the team need and the fans also need. The effort was fantastic from the team. This situation can make us stronger and make us confident for Monday.”

Pochettino also suggested that Palmer could start against Fulham, which suggests Chukwuemeka would not – assuming the duo are competing for the No.10 role. The Chelsea boss said: “Yes, maybe [he starts against the Cottagers], yes. I’m so happy with his performance after only a few weeks with us.

“He was able to perform very well and fit very well in the team. He is a talented player, young talented player but I think he is in my mind to start on Monday.”

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