Positive update on Christian Pulisic injury recovery as Chelsea boss Graham Potter discusses return for USMNT star
- American forward has been out since early January
- Being eased back into the fold
- Azpilicueta and Kante also stuck on the sidelines
WHAT HAPPENED? The United States international is not yet ready to play a part in full training, although he is back out on the grass with his club colleagues and will be “more integrated next week." Pulisic has been sidelined since being forced out of a Premier League clash with Manchester City after just 22 minutes on January 5. The 24-year-old is eager to force his way back into Potter’s plans, but no risks will be taken on his fitness.
WHAT THEY SAID: Blues boss Potter told reporters when asked for an update on his squad heading into a London derby date with Tottenham on Sunday: “We've had a good week's training, everyone is available apart from N'Golo and Christian Pulisic. They are joining the warm-ups and will be more integrated next week.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Another Chelsea star that will not be available this weekend is Cesar Azpilicueta, after taking a serious blow to the head in a meeting with Southampton, with Potter saying of his captain: “He's as ok as can be when you've had that concussion. He won't be ready for the weekend as we have to go through the protocols, but he's doing well.” While the veteran Spainish defender is ruled out, Potter said when asked if forgotten frontman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains in contention for game time: “He is competing for a place in the squad. Good response to the situation we’ve been in. He is available for selection.”
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WHAT NEXT? Chelsea head into a clash with Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium sat 10th in the Premier League table and with a serious spark required from somewhere despite splashing out around £600 million ($712m) on fresh faces across the last two transfer windows.