U.S. soccer star Christian Pulisic, whose World Cup performance overshadowed his Chelsea campaign, is expected to miss extended time with a knee injury suffered in a Premier League match last week.
Christian Pulisic out ‘a couple of months’ with knee injury
The club did not disclose specifics, but Pulisic hurt his right knee Thursday against Manchester City at London’s Stamford Bridge. He was attempting to shoot deep in the penalty area in the 16th minute when John Stones executed a clean tackle that disrupted his follow-through.
He left the match and missed an FA Cup defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.
The injury comes amid speculation that Chelsea would relinquish him during this month’s transfer window. Manchester United, Newcastle, AC Milan and Juventus have been linked to the 24-year-old attacker, who has been with Chelsea since a $73 million transfer — a record for a U.S. player — from Germany’s Borussia Dortmund in 2019.
A winter move now seems less likely because of the injury, which is also all but certain to sideline him for the U.S. national team’s Concacaf Nations League matches against Grenada and El Salvador in late March. It’s the first opportunity for the full U.S. squad to reunite since the World Cup. An MLS-heavy roster will gather in the Los Angeles area this month for two friendlies.
The next major competition for the U.S. team is the Concacaf Gold Cup this summer.
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The knee ailment comes less than six weeks after Pulisic suffered a pelvic contusion while scoring against Iran in the World Cup group finale, a 1-0 victory that propelled the Americans into the round of 16. Four days later, he started in a 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands.
Pulisic’s World Cup — which also included an assist on Tim Weah’s goal in the group opener against Wales — has outshined his Chelsea campaign. He has appeared in all but one Premier League match but has started just six and posted one goal and one assist.
Of late, though, Pulisic had worked his way back into the lineup, starting each of Chelsea’s three matches following the World Cup break.
In the UEFA Champions League, Pulisic started one of six group games for the Blues, who will play Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 (Feb. 15 and March 7).
Pulisic’s absence comes amid a rough season for injury-riddled Chelsea, which is in a 1-4-1 rut and has tumbled to 10th in the 20-team Premier League with a 7-6-4 record.