US midfielder Christian Pulisic will not play in Thursday's friendly against Wales and will leave the camp on Wednesday night as he recovers from a hamstring injury, the American Football Federation has announced.
The Chelsea midfielder had always been unlikely to play in the game after being injured in the warm-up before his club's game against Burnley on October 31, and then suffered a setback in training.
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But US manager Gregg Berhalter was eager to see Pulisic in person, having not had his first pick group together in over a year. Pulisic arrived at the camp, which is being held in Cardiff, Wales, over the weekend.
“[Pulisic] had a terrific three or four days with the team,” Berhalter said on a Zoom call with reporters. He was able to get treatment and be with the guys, reconnect with the staff. It was great to see him. Unfortunately, he will not participate in the match. “
Pulisic's departure means he will miss the likely debut of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Gio Reyna – son of former US captain Claudio – as well as the returns of Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie and RB Leipzig Tyler Adams. This quartet of players should form the core of the team for years to come.
“[Pulisic] He's a player we're definitely going to miss, and with his quality we wish we could have him on the pitch, but that's not going to happen,” Berhalter said.
For her part, Reyna, 17, said he has no plans to change her game in Pulisic's absence.
“I think I just have to play my game like I always try to do, like I have done with Dortmund so far,” said Reyna, “I think if I can emulate what I did at Dortmund so far this season here, I think I can do it here too.
"Of course. I'm going, we're going to miss Christian, obviously. He's such a good player and he always offers so much for us. It's a shame he can't play, but I think for me it was always just trying to help the team get involved and obviously trying to score goals in the system. “
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard previously called Pulisic's hamstring injury "very, very minor". Pulisic last played on October 28, when he scored a 90th-minute goal in a 4-0 Champions League group stage win over Krasnodar.
He has not scored a goal in three Premier League games this season after totaling nine goals and four assists in 25 games during his first campaign with Chelsea in 2019-20.