According to a report by ESPN soccer journalist Jeff Carlisle, USMNT star Christian Pulisic will miss 3-4 weeks with a torn quadriceps he suffered in the 1-1 draw with Chile this international break.
After scoring the opener in just the fourth minute, Pulisic was withdrawn just past the half-hour mark and trainers were seen on the sidenlines working on his knee or upper leg. It was revealed after the match that he was dealing with a quad injury and that he would return to Borussia Dortmund for further testing with a timetable to be determined.
Carlisle reports that a tear was discovered, and while the extent of the tear was not revealed, the report states he will sit around a month. That would leave Pulisic on the sidelines for Dortmund’s massive league matchup with Bayern Munich on April 6, and with Dortmund out of the Champions League, he may have just four Bundesliga matches remaining when he returns. Dortmund sits second in the Bundesliga table, level with Bayern on points but back on goal differential.
Pulisic, still just 20 years old, has begun to build up a worrying list of nagging muscle injuries through the last few years, piling up this season especially. He struggled with a trio of muscle injuries in the first half of the campaign that contributed to significant time on the sidelines for his club team, as well as keeping him out of USMNT duty for six straight matches from June through October. He was sidelined in February with a hamstring injury suffered in a Champions League match as well that forced him to miss three league matches.
While occasionally players suffer a run of bad luck forces them out with consecutive freak injuries, constant muscle problems are often indicative of a more predictable problem that could continue to crop up in the future, leaving Pulisic’s injury history as nothing short of concerning.
Pulisic is moving to Chelsea this offseason, and is clearly at a career crossroads, having been forced out of the Borussia Dortmund regular lineup by fellow youngster Jadon Sancho. Should Pulisic find his way back onto the field consistently, he could start fresh at Stamford Bridge. However, if the injuries continue to hold him back, it could hamper his ability to compete in a crowded Chelsea attacking midfield as he looks to impress his new club.
It’s also undoubtedly a critical time in his USMNT career. With the Gold Cup right around the corner marking Gregg Berhalter’s first competitive competition in charge, Pulisic will no doubt be a critical piece of the squad as he looks to lead the national team’s recovery from missing the 2018 World Cup. The game against Chile changed significantly after Pulisic’s departure, and Berhalter will be desperately hoping the youngster can recover his fitness in time to be a vital contributor.