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Christian Pulisic to miss Chelsea match with hamstring injury: Can he make USMNT return?

Christian Pulisic’s status for the upcoming US men’s national team friendlies against Wales (Nov. 12) and Panama (Nov. 16) remains in question after Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said the midfielder won’t be available for their game Saturday against Sheffield United.

Speaking ahead of their Premier League fixture this weekend, Lampard ruled out the USMNT star as he recovers from a hamstring injury he suffered ahead of their match vs. Burnley last weekend. Pulisic then missed their Champions League game Wednesday against Rennes while recovering from what Lampard called a "very, very minor injury,” noting that he’d already returned to the field.

But Lampard has corrected the record somewhat, noting the Pulisic is not currently training and things aren’t as far along as they may have seemed.

"He's not fit to play [against Sheffield United], he is still suffering with his hamstring," Lampard told media members. "He is not [training] at the moment, no. To be clear, he trained at a low level in midweek when I made those quotes and he wasn't comfortable so we have to keep looking for the right solution."

If Pulisic isn’t good to go next week, he’d be the second USMNT player forced out of their November camp after COVID-19 protocols meant Josh Sargent wasn’t allowed to travel from Werder Bremen. 

Pulisic has appeared in just five games this season across all competitions, scoring once in 284 minutes. He wasn’t available from the get-go, having suffered a hamstring injury in last season’s FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal.

Whether you’re USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter or a fan who eagerly awaits the European-heavy group, Pulisic’s status will be closely monitored. He enjoyed a stellar first season at Chelsea upon arriving from Borussia Dortmund, but injuries have proven troublesome in recent months.