Thomas Tuchel says Christian Pulisic is “really suffering” as his injury nightmare continues at Chelsea, with the Blues boss admitting that “recovery is not happening” for the United States international.
A talented 23-year-old forward has been nursing an ankle problem since suffering an untimely blow while representing his country in September.
Positive progress was being made in his recovery at one stage, but further setbacks are keeping him stuck on the sidelines and out of contention for a place in his club manager’s plans.
What has been said?
Tuchel has told reporters ahead of a Champions League clash with Malmo when asked for an update on Pulisic: “He got injured during a match with the USA, with a foul, a tough foul, and he hurt his ankle.
“There is nothing to worry about in terms of details, and that we are hiding details. I cannot give you all of the details because I am not a doctor, but at the moment he has had some setbacks from pain.
“Not from a major injury or complications. It is simply the pain in the ankle that disturbs him. Once these players with quick movements like Christian, once they feel this pain and they are not free in the movement the recovery is not happening.
“You start all over again and you reach a certain point and the pain comes back. And you have to do a little pause and start all over again.
“So right now we are very, very close. He was so close to coming to team training last week and had a little setback and reaction, with pain. Nothing serious. From there on we go.
“He is very impatient, of course, and he does everything and we can see him suffer in every meeting. And every time we meet him here [at the training ground] he is really suffering and he wants to be on the pitch and help us. Everybody is doing their very best. Unfortunately the injury takes its time.”
How many games has Pulisic played this season?Getty Images
Pulisic has taken in just one Premier League appearance for Chelsea in the 2021-22 campaign.
He did find the target in a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on August 14, but was replaced eight minutes from the end by Kai Havertz and has not figured for the Blues since.
That is because he suffered an unfortunate injury during an outing for the USMNT against Honduras which forced him from the field in the 62nd minute.
Prior to that, a bout of Covid-19 had meant Pulisic had to sit out two games at club level.
A further eight have now been missed as a result of fitness struggles, with there still no indication as to when Tuchel will be in a position to call upon the American again.