By Our Correspondent
The turf conditions at Soldier Field in Chicago are nationally notorious for consistently being awful. Now it’s internationally infamous, as Chelsea summer signing Christopher Nkunku suffered a meniscus injury last Wednesday night at the score draw with Borussia Dortmund that was staged at the Chicago lakefront stadium.
It’s really unclear whether or not the pitch conditions actually had anything to do it with the injury, but it’s obvious that the grass was in worse shape than usual after having just hosted an Ed Sheeran concert. Nkunku had to be taken off after just 22 minutes, following a collision with BVB defender Mats Hummels
The knee injury required surgical repair, meaning he’s now set for “an extended period” on the sidelines. Chelsea FC released an official statement today, confirming that Nkunku had underwent surgery to repair the injury:
Nkunku has sustained a knee injury which will rule the forward out for an extended period. The 25-year-old has undergone an operation and will now begin a rehabilitation programme with the club’s medical department.
That’s a huge blow, as the £53 million acquisition from R.B. Leipzig was very impressive during Chelsea’s undefeated pre-season in the United States.
There were a lot of good vibes around the club this summer, as a sense of optimism heading into Sunday’s season opener against Liverpool.
So much for that, as the Paris Saint-Germain academy graduate is now going to be missing for probably about three to four months.
Chelsea are reportedly now looking at replacing the 25-year-old Frenchman, for the short term, with Juventus hit man Dusan Vlahovic.
Nkunku, an attacking midfielder/forward who can play as a second striker, was expected to be the team’s starting No. 10 this season, positioned on the pitch behind Nicolas Jackson.
Maybe Carney Chukwuemeka steps into that role now? After the injury occurred, Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino refused to blame the pitch at Soldier Field for what happened to Nkunku, but he did say the field conditions were suboptimal.
“I didn’t see the action but it not about to complaining,” Pochettino responded when asked about Nkunku maybe getting his studs caught in the turf.
Regardless of whether the field had any impact on Nkunku getting hurt or not, the field conditions at Soldier Field are consistently poor. Overall, the Chicago Park District does a terrible job with it.
Chelsea confirmed Christopher Nkunku has undergone surgery to his knee injury sustained in Chicago.
New signing could be out for up to 16 weeks.