Thomas Tuchel has said that he will be keeping a close eye on how Christian Pulisic is used by the USA national team in the upcoming international window, with the head coach keen for the American to return to Chelsea a further step on in his recovery from injury.
Pulisic suffered an ankle injury the last time he was away with his country, with the American missing the majority of the current campaign before making his long-awaited return against Malmo last week before following that up with another cameo from the bench in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Burnley.
While a little apprehensive at seeing Pulisic go off for international duty so soon after returning, our head coach understands the need for the forward to feature for his country and hopes that, providing all parties are sensible with his involvement, the American can come back to Cobham feeling fitter and fresher than when he departs.
‘I think you can see from the minutes he’s had, then the questions of whether he’s at his peak level are answered,’ Tuchel explained to journalists at the weekend.
‘It will take time with Christian because he’s been out for such a long time this season, but he is easing his way back in and is doing well.
‘I hope that the US national team are responsible with him and they don’t overuse him too much in the international fixture.
‘Christian still feels a little bit of pain but of course, he absolutely wants to come back to full fitness and at his peak level of performance that he’s shown before.
‘It’s a matter of managing the pain in his ankle, not a matter of a reinjury or anything like that. It’s just that things are still a bit painful for him.
‘He desperately wanted to come back and we need him back, because he’s a big player for us. He’s tried so hard when he’s come in on recent games and it was a good start for him in Malmo, and then the 10 minutes or so he got against Burnley.
‘I have to say, we are always a little worried when our players go away with the national team because it’s out of our control but there is also a responsibility for Christian to not get carried away and try too much.
‘Of course, I understand that playing for your country is emotional and he will want to give everything to help his country win a super-important match. Hopefully the minutes will elevate him for when he returns to us and he will be in a better place physically.’