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Chelsea attacker suffers "serious" ankle injury on international duty

Chelsea attacker suffers
© Reuters
Chelsea are hoping they have not suffered a blow ahead of pre-season after one of their attackers sustained a "serious" ankle injury on international duty.

Chelsea have potentially suffered a blow ahead of pre-season after one of their attackers sustained an injury while on international duty.

The Blues are currently planning for a new era under Enzo Maresca after the Italian replaced Mauricio Pochettino in the dugout, penning a long-term contract in the process.

However, as is the case with many clubs across Europe, it remains unclear how many players Maresca will have at his disposal for July's friendlies courtesy of Euro 2024, Copa America, the Olympics and a wide array of World Cup qualifiers and friendlies.

African nations are currently competing in fixtures to reach the next stage of their World Cup qualifying campaign, with one star man involved in those matches.

Nicolas Jackson has been representing Senegal, his most recent outing coming against DR Congo on Thursday night in a game where he needed to be substituted.

An update has since been provided and it appears to put in doubt whether the 22-year-old will be in a position to feature in Maresca's opening training sessions.

Chelsea's Nicolas Jackson celebrates scoring their second goal on November 6, 2023© Reuters

Jackson suffers "serious" ankle problem

A statement from the Senegal Football Association has acknowledged that Jackson faces a period of recovery after injuring his right ankle.

It read: "Nicolas Jackson injured his right ankle during the Senegal-DRC match on June 6, 2024.

"Radiology examinations (MRI) carried out on June 7 revealed a serious sprain of the ankle."

Jackson was not part of the squad that recorded a 1-0 triumph in Mauritania on Sunday, and it now remains to be seen when the versatile frontman will be available again.

Nicolas Jackson celebrates scoring for Chelsea against Nottingham Forest on May 11, 2024.© Reuters

What are Jackson's chances of making first friendly?

Ankle sprains take different times to heal, depending on their severity, but the use of the word "serious" indicates that the injury is significant enough to extend his recovery time into July.

In theory, that may not prove too much of an issue for Jackson or Chelsea. The first friendly of the United States tour does not take place until July 24 when the Blues meet Wrexham.

With four matches taking place over a week-and-a-half, there will be plenty of opportunities for Jackson to build his fitness, although he will not want to lose ground on a new addition that will have likely arrived to compete for his place.

Maresca will also be eager to see how Jackson adapts to his possession-based strategy, a change from the more direct style that was used under Pochettino.

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