Christian Pulisic pulls out of USA squad

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Christian Pulisic pulls out of USA squad for friendly against Wales and is sent back to Chelsea for further treatment on ongoing hamstring problem in further blow to Frank Lampard
Christian Pulisic has played three Premier League games for Chelsea this season
He was injured in the warm-up at Burnley last month and has not played since
Pulisic still joined up with USA ahead of matches against Wales and Panama
USA boss Gregg Berhalter said he still has an issue in a blow to Frank Lampard

Christian Pulisic will miss USA’s friendly against Wales on Thursday after being sent back to Chelsea from his national team camp for further treatment on an ongoing hamstring complaint.

The 22-year-old has been frustrated by an injury yet again this season, having made just three Premier League appearances for Frank Lampard’s side so far in the current campaign.

The former Borussia Dortmund star was injured in the warm-up ahead of their 3-0 win at Burnley on October 31 and has not made the Blues squad since.

Pulisic nonetheless joined up with his national side ahead of the latest round of international fixtures, but USA boss Gregg Berhalter has now confirmed he will not feature in Swansea or against Panama on Monday.

‘Christian is a big part of our group,’ Berhalter said. ‘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.’

Pulisic suffered from a number of fitness issues in 2019/20 too having joined the Blues from Bundesliga outfit Dortmund last year.

He made just 19 starts in the Premier League over the course of the last campaign, but Berhalter dismissed concerns that his compatriot’s apparent inability to stay fit is a concern.

I don’t see it like that,’ the USA boss added. ‘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 sustaining the problem before the Burnley game, Chelsea boss Lampard said that he hoped it would only be a short-term lay off, stating: ‘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.’

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