Injured Pulisic drops out of USMNT squad to return to Chelsea

Christian Pulisic, Chelsea 2020-21
The 22-year-old forward has not featured for his club since the end of October due to a hamstring problem

Christian Pulisic has returned to Chelsea in order to continue his recovery from injury, United States coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed on Wednesday. 

Pulisic, 22, has been out of action since the end of October after suffering a hamstring problem prior to the Blues' Premier League clash against Burnley. 

He was nevertheless called up by the USMNT for their November friendlies against Wales and Panama, although the star remained some way off full fitness. 

But after failing to recover in time, he will now leave the squad and head back to west London. 

"Christian is a big part of our group," Berhalter explained to reporters on Wednesday ahead of tomorrow's Wales clash in Cardiff as the coach revealed Pulisic's withdrawal. 

"He has been working through an injury, but he 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 United States have not played an international game since February, with World Cup qualifiers in the CONCACAF region postponed several times due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The first round of matches will not take place until March 2021, with the USMNT's participation beginning in June as they enter directly into the third round with fellow top seeds Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and Jamaica as well as two further contestants yet to be determined. 

Pulisic's involvement in this double header of friendlies had been doubtful from the beginning, with Chelsea boss Frank Lampard stating as recently as Friday that the former Dortmund wonderkid continued to feel discomfort in the affected muscle. 

“[Pulisic] not fit to play, still suffering with his hamstring," Lampard told reporters.

“He trained at a low level in midweek and wasn't comfortable. We have to keep looking for the right solution.”

The Pennsylvania native made his USMNT debut in March 2016 aged just 17, and has since gone on to represent his nation on 34 occasions, scoring 14 goals.