It doesn’t look like USMNT star Christian Pulisic will play for Chelsea this weekend as the west London club have issued an injury update on the 21-year-old.
Fourth-place Chelsea head to third-place Leicester City on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in a key game in their battle to finish in the top four of the Premier League and although Frank Lampard told Pro Soccer Talk last week that Pulisic would be out until mid-February, there had been hopes he could return for the clash at the King Power Stadium.
Chelsea released an update on Friday and it doesn’t seem like Pulisic will be making the trip to Leicester, even though he put up a photo on his Instagram page showing him back running on the training pitch. Pro Soccer Talk understands Pulisic was back in training on Tuesday after almost four weeks out and is making good progress on his return to full fitness.
“Christian Pulisic is likely to remain unavailable with the thigh injury that has kept him out since New Year’s Day,” Chelsea said on their own website.
So, they’re saying there’s a chance…
Lampard didn’t address Pulisic’s fitness in his pre-match press conference as he only said there are “no new injuries” to report. The big question here is: why risk Pulisic when Chelsea have a 16-day break coming up after the game at Leicester?
Their next encounter after the winter break is a home game against Manchester United on Feb. 17 and it would be much better for Lampard to not rush the American winger back earlier than expected and risk making the injury worse.
Pulisic has been hit with a few inconvenient knocks throughout this season so far and since he’s been out Chelsea have struggled to break down opposition teams in the final third. Lampard and Chelsea’s players have admitted they’ve missed Pulisic’s creativity and that could be a good reason for rushing him back at Leicester.
Lampard will be sensible and there’s no need to risk Pulisic and have him out for longer.