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Christian Pulisic remains out with injury

The Pro Soccer Talk Extra crew break down the USMNT's chances to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup without star playmakers Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna due to injury.

Christian Pulisic is still out with an ankle injury, but Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel now has the USMNT star back in training.

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With Pulisic being left out of the USMNT’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers in October, he also hasn’t played for Chelsea since mid-August.

Pulisic, 23, suffered an ankle injury in the USMNT’s 4-1 win at Honduras on Sept. 9 and has been out since. Thomas Tuchel previously told ProSoccerTalk that Pulisic was close to a comeback in mid-September, but the American winger suffered a setback.

What’s the last Christian Pulisic injury update from Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel?

“Only Christian Pulisic is missing tomorrow,” Tuchel confirmed when asked about the latest injury news on in mid-October.

Asked to give more details on Pulisic, here is what Tuchel said.

“He got injured during a match with the USA, with a foul, a tough foul, and he hurt his ankle,” Tuchel said. “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 in 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 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 come to team training last week and had a little setback and reaction, by 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 his very best. Unfortunately the injury takes its time.”

Pulisic being out over the last eight weeks for Chelsea has underlined how much of an impact he can have for Tuchel’s team, as they’ve missed a bit of dynamism and creativity in the final third in recent games.

This injury will be hugely frustrating for Pulisic.

What has been going on with Pulisic this season?

In early September the Pennsylvanian winger returned from a spell out due to testing positive for COVID-19, as he had to work his way back to full fitness.

Pulisic started the 2021-22 domestic season well, as he scored a penalty kick in Chelsea’s UEFA Super Cup final win in a shootout and scored in the opening day win against Crystal Palace.

However, as has been the case for much of his young career, injuries have hampered his fast start to the new season and he hasn’t played for the Blues in over two months.

Bad news for USMNT

Any time Pulisic is out injured it is a blow for the USMNT.

Pulisic wore the captains armband in two of the USMNT’s three World Cup qualifiers in September (he only played in two after missing the game at El Salvador) and is clearly the talisman for the Stars and Stripes.

Even a 75 percent fit Pulisic has to start for the USMNT, but he isn’t close to that right now.

With two huge World Cup qualifiers coming up in November against Mexico and Jamaica, the USMNT need Pulisic to get plenty of minutes between now and then.

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