Christian Pulisic has played down fears over his injury record as the USMNT star gets set for a huge few weeks for Chelsea.
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Pulisic, 22, is in fine form ahead of a pivotal few games for the Blues, as they face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semifinals this week and next, plus have an FA Cup final on May 15 and are in the hunt for a top four finish.
Speaking to media ahead of Chelsea’s semifinal first leg clash at Real Madrid on Tuesday, Pulisic allayed fears over his recent injury problems.
“I feel very confident in my body and my fitness levels at the moment,” Pulisic said. “I’ve played a string of games. I’ve never thought of myself as a player who is ‘injury-prone’ or anything. Obviously I’ve had a tough time the past year and a bit but it is really about taking care of my body and putting myself in the best position to be available for every single game and I feel good about that right now.”
Can Pulisic shake off these injury problems?
It has been a tough 20 months since Pulisic joined Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund, as constant hamstring and upper leg injuries have seen him miss huge stretches of games for the west London club.
Those injuries aren’t helped by defenders hacking him down on a weekly basis as his star continues to rise.
The treatment he received during his man of the match display for Chelsea v. Porto in the quarterfinal second leg was horrific, as opponents targeted him time and time again, but he kept getting up and going again.
Pulisic finally looks fit and fresh again and has played in all of Chelsea’s seven games since he starred for the USMNT during the March international break.
He will always have his injury record thrown at him and until he has an entire season without a lengthy spell out, that will continue to be the case. But it is clear that just like ‘Project Restart’ last summer, he is now in the midst of one of his familiar purple patches.
Thomas Tuchel obviously plans to start him against Real Madrid, in a Champions League semifinal, and that is a huge moment for Pulisic.
Stage is set for Chelsea – Real Madrid
Speaking to reporters, Pulisic didn’t want to get too deep into the politics of the failed European Super League and the involvement of Chelsea and Real Madrid in it, but he did admit it was tough for players not to talk about it and have it on their minds in recent days.
The Pennsylvania native also summed up his mentality heading into one of the biggest club games of his career.
“It is key to try and enjoy the moment,” Pulisic said. “Champions League semifinals don’t come around every day, so it is an amazing time for us. Personally, I’ve been looking forward to this game for weeks. It is a big moment, there are nerves and a lot of preparation is involved but I think it is key to really try and enjoy it.”
USMNT fans will enjoy this fresh, fit and confident Pulisic and hope it lasts for the rest of the season, and then throughout the summer while he’s on international duty.