Christian Pulisic has suffered another injury setback as he will miss USA’s friendly with Wales on Thursday, having been sent back to Chelsea for further treatment for an ongoing problem.
The 22-year-old has made just three Premier League appearances so far this season, two from the start, and is struggling with a hamstring injury.
He was forced out of the clash with Burnley on 31 October after getting injured in the warm-up and has not appeared for Chelsea since.
The forward joined up with the USA side as he neared a recovery from the complaint, but he clearly has some way to go before being able to take to the field again.
USA manager Gregg Berhalter said: ‘Christian is a big part of our group. He has been working through an injury, but it really says a lot that he wanted to come into camp, be around the guys and continue to be a leader with this team.’
The American had a number of injury problems last season as well, his first season at Stamford Bridge, making just 19 starts in the league.
Asked if he felt Pulisic’s inability to stay fit is a concern, Berhalter dismissed the problem and feels that he is still getting used to life in the Premier League after his switch from Borussia Dortmund.
‘I don’t see it like that,’ said the USA boss.
‘I really see it as a young player who is just adapting to the demands of a different game, a different schedule.
‘When you get injured, when you have a muscle injury, it takes you a while to get fully fit and recover and this is part of his recovery process.
‘I have no doubt that he’s going to be a player that is fit for a very long period of time when he gets through this period.’
After the tweak before the Burnley game, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said: ‘Yes, he felt a little something in his hamstring.
‘He’s frustrated because he’s worked so hard to get fit.
‘He’s played three games, we’ve tried to manage him in the week and it’s a small feeling in his hamstring so we’ll have to see how he is over the next 24 hours.
‘Hopefully it’s short term, we’re talking weeks.
‘It’s a minor feeling that he had but definitely not right to go into 90 minutes of a game with that.’
MORE : USA head coach Gregg Berhalter speaks out over Christian Pulisic’s injury problems
MORE : Kai Havertz aiming to replicate Frank Lampard’s impact at Chelsea
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