A bruised pelvic bone couldn’t keep United States men’s national team star Christian Pulisic sidelined during the World Cup, but he was not as lucky with a recent knee injury. The Chelsea FC forward will miss the next “couple of months,” manager Graham Potter said on Wednesday.
“Hopefully less, but that’s the timeframe there,” Potter said.
Pulisic’s injury occurred while attempting a shot in a 1-0 loss to Manchester City on Jan. 5. He had started all three games since the World Cup ended — against Bournemouth on Dec. 27, Nottingham Forest on Jan. 1 and then Manchester City on Sunday — for Chelsea, which sits 10th in the Premier League standings through 17 matches.
Pulisic started all four games for the U.S. in their World Cup run that ended with a loss to the Netherlands in the Round of 16. He sustained the pelvic injury scoring a goal in a group-stage victory over Iran, helping the U.S. advance into the knockout round. Late in the first half, Pulisic tore toward the net, split a pair of Iran defenders and collided with keeper Alireza Beiranvand as the ball deflected into the net.
U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter told reporters following the match Pulisic was taken to the hospital “as a precaution” and was “feeling some dizziness.” A photo of Pulisic, a 24-year-old from Pennsylvania, cheering from his hospital bed circulated, and he assured U.S. fans that he’d be ready for their game against the Netherlands.
Pulisic later clarified that he “didn’t get hit in the balls” during the sequence.
“I’m all right,” Pulisic said. “It was very painful. That (pelvic) bone is there for a reason to protect you and I hit it well. I was sore.”
Chelsea will next face Fulham, looking to snap a three-match winless streak and claim its first victory since the Bournemouth match. And they’ll have to manage — for the foreseeable future — without Pulisic, who has scored one goal and added one assist across 16 matches, with six starts.