After more than two months, we could once again see Christian Pulisic pull on a Chelsea shirt in Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 second leg against Borussia Dortmund. Blues boss Graham Potter confirmed in his pre-match press conference that the USMNT star was in the squad for the game against his former club.
What injury did Christian Pulisic have?
‘Captain America’ hasn’t played a minute of soccer since suffering a knee injury which forced him off in the 22nd minute of Chelsea’s home defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League on 5 January. The setback will have been a huge source of frustration for Pulisic, who had only just begun to get a run in Potter’s starting eleven. That game at Stamford Bridge was the attacker’s third start in a row following the World Cup break; he had played from the off in just three of the Blues’ first 16 Premier League games of the campaign and only one of their six Champions League group games.
Chelsea’s attacking struggles
Pulisic’s absence coincided with a poor run of form for Potter’s side, who won just twice and scored only four goals in 10 matches without him. They did, however, defeat Leeds United 1-0 on Saturday, which may lower the chances of him being risked from the off against Dortmund after such a lengthy lay-off.
Reece James and N’Golo Kanté close to returns
Potter also revealed that Reece James and N’Golo Kanté were closing in on their returns to full fitness and didn’t close the door on the former being available to face the Germans. The latter, however, won’t be available just yet.
“Reece James, we’ll make a decision on him tomorrow. Christian Pulisic is in the squad, but it is too soon for N’Golo Kante, but he’s looking good.
“It’s a complex one with him because he has had a long time out. It’ll be a case of how we get him back up to speed to play Premier League or Champions League football. He won’t be able to go back in for 90 minutes any time soon but the fact he is with us is exciting.”
Mount suspended, Silva, Azpilicueta and Mendy still out
Mason Mount didn’t play against Leeds because of an abdominal injury and didn’t train on Monday, although the England international is suspended for Tuesday’s game in any case. Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and full-back Cesar Azpilicueta should return to action in the coming days but central defender Thiago Silva is expected to spend at least another month in the treatment room.
When does Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund kick off?
Chelsea lost the first leg of the tie against Borussia Dortmund by a goal to nil in Germany. You can follow the second leg on Tuesday 7 March (kick-off at 3:00 p.m. ET) on AS USA.