Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana will be out for months after undergoing ACL surgery and will miss the start of the 2023/24 campaign.
The French international missed the flight for Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the United States yesterday as the Blues announced they were assessing an issue with his knee.
The news will be a blow for Fofana, who has suffered two long-term injuries across his one-year spell at the club. He missed a chunk of last season through injuries, and it will be the same story this term.
Fofana joined the Blues from Leicester City for around £70 million but has struggled to kick on due to injuries which have blighted his time in London.
The 22-year-old will stay at Cobham to continue his rehabilitation and recovery from the surgery.
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino discussed the matter in his press conference ahead of their pre-season friendly against Wrexham tomorrow.
Pochettino said (via Chelsea’s official website): “It is really sad – really bad news. We feel all so sad. All we can do is help him.
“We know it is a tough injury, but we hope he can be as soon as possible with the team. We need to keep going.
“The competition is there. In one month we start. It doesn’t wait for anyone, and we need to be ready to compete.”
However, there is some positive news for Chelsea as Reece James is now on his way to the US. The right-back missed the trip due to illness, not an injury, as initially feared.
James was another player who struggled with injury problems last season. He missed half of Chelsea’s games with different injuries but will look to put all that aside next season.
Following Fofana’s injury, Chelsea may consider dipping into the market for another defender to help them this season.
It is worth noting that Benoit Badiashile remains on the sidelines and will miss the early part of next season through a hamstring injury he suffered at the end of last season.
There is also uncertainty regarding Trevoh Chalobah’s future, who is a target for Inter Milan. Chelsea may consider keeping him given the latest injury news.