US midfielder Christian Pulisic will not play in the friendly against Wales on Thursday and should leave camp on Wednesday night as he has recovered from a thigh injury, the US Football Association said.
The Chelsea midfielder was always unlikely to be in the game in Swansea, Wales after sustaining the injury warming up ahead of his club’s game against Burnley on October 31 and later suffering a setback in training.
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However, US manager Gregg Berhalter really wanted to see Pulisic in person, as he hadn’t had a first-choice group together for more than a year. Pulisic arrived at the camp, which is being held in Cardiff, Wales, last weekend.
“”[Pulisic] We had a great three or four days with the team, “said Berhalter during a video call with reporters.” He could be treated and be with the boys and reconnect with the staff. It was great to see him. Unfortunately, he won’t take part in the match. “
Pulisic’s departure means he will miss the likely debut of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Gio Reyna – son of former US captain Claudio Reyna – as well as the return of Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie and RB Leipzig midfielder Tyler Adams. This quartet of players is expected to form the core of the team in the years to come.
“”[Pulisic] is a player we will surely miss and with his quality we wish we could have him on the field but that won’t happen, “said Berhalter.
For his part, 17-year-old Reyna said he has no plans to change his game in Pulisic’s absence.
“I think I just have to play my game the way I’ve always tried, like I’ve done with Dortmund so far,” said Reyna. “I think if I can imitate what I’ve done in Dortmund so far this season, I think I can be successful here too.
“Of course I’ll miss Christian of course. He’s such a good player and he always offers so much for us. It’s unfortunate that he can’t play, but I think it was always fair for me to try to help the team themselves and obviously trying to score goals in the system. “
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard previously described Pulisic’s hamstring injury as “very, very minor”. Pulisic last played on October 28, when he scored in the 90th minute in the 4-0 Champions League group stage victory against Krasnodar.
He has not scored in three Premier League games this season, after scoring nine goals and four assists in 25 games in his debut campaign with Chelsea from 2019 to 2019.
Pulisic hasn’t played for the US since October 2019. The next international FIFA window is planned for March.