Frank Lampard has confirmed that Christian Pulisic will not play for Chelsea against Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday (watch live, 12:30pm ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).
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Christian Pulisic, 22, injured his hamstring in the warm up before Chelsea’s win at Burnley last week and pulled out of the starting lineup.
Since then Lampard has said that it is only a small injury as Pulisic missed the Champions League game against Rennes on Wednesday, but had a chance of being fit to play against the Blades on Saturday.
“He is not fit to play,” Lampard said. “He is still suffering with his hamstring and he is not training. In midweek he was training at a low level but was not comfortable so we have to keep looking for the right solution.”
It seems like the last few days of training have proven to be a little too much too soon for Pulisic and anyway, why would Lampard risk rushing him back from another hamstring injury?
The main focus will now be for USMNT fans, as Pulisic has been called up to play for the Star and Stripes in their friendlies against Wales in Panama next week.
Will Pulisic be allowed to link up with the USMNT if he hasn’t been fit enough to play for Chelsea this weekend?
It’s likely he will be allowed to link up with the USMNT as this latest injury doesn’t seem serious, but it’s the latest in a long-line of setbacks over the last 18 months for the American winger.
Listing Pulisic’s injury record
Here’s a closer look at the injuries Pulisic has suffered in just the last two years, as he’s suffered six injuries which have kept him out for at least two weeks on each occasion:
- August 2018: Muscular problem, 17 days out
- October 2018: Torn muscle fibre, 15 days out
- February 2019: Torn muscle fibre, 16 days out
- March 2019: Torn muscle fibre, 20 days out
- January 2020: Tear in adductor, 75 days out
- August 2020: Hamstring injury, 63 days out
- October 2020: Hamstring injury, TBD
When you see his problems written down in a list like that, you realize that they haven’t been minor issues and they are very similar problems.
Due to those issues he’s been unavailable for 22 games for Chelsea since he arrived just over 12 months ago.
USMNT put it down to growing pains
ProSoccerTalk asked USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter about Pulisic battling through very similar injuries and if he was concerned about any long-term impacts for the 22-year-old.
“I’ve been in that spot myself, where you have an injury and you’re trying to shake it and trying to come back and there is a period where you come back and you are a little bit vulnerable,” Berhalter explained. “I know Chelsea is doing every single thing they can. I know he is doing every single thing he can and he is really focused and dedicated on staying fit.
“I believe he will get to this level of resistance where he stays fit. But building that up sometimes is challenging. That could be a phase he is in right now. I know they could use him. I know he’s a fantastic player and it is great to see what he’s been doing, but he’s in good hands with the club and they are doing everything they can to get him on the field.”