USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter understands the concerns Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has over Christian Pulisic and insists the winger will not be pushed to breaking point while on international duty.
Pulisic has joined up with the U.S. for their World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Jamaica despite having only just returned from an ankle injury sustained in September while representing his country.
The 22-year-old featured for the final 16 minutes of the Champions League victory over Malmo last week and then played the last ten in the 1-1 draw against Burnley on Saturday.
Pulisic is not match fit. Nor is he completely pain-free. It’s why Tuchel was concerned about the American being pushed too hard by Berhalter while away from Chelsea.
“I hope they don’t overuse him, are responsible enough,” the Blues head coach said. “Christian still feels a bit of pain. He absolutely wants to come back and it’s a matter of pain management.
“It’s not a matter of re-injury of still being injured. It’s just still painful but he tried hard, he wanted desperately to come back and we needed him back.
“So it was a good start in Malmo and today he had ten minutes. We are a bit worried. Hopefully, he himself is responsible and doesn’t get carried away by emotions and by helping his country to win a super important match.
“Hopefully, all goes well and the minutes will elevate him so he comes back stronger.”
Pulisic, who has made just four appearances for Chelsea this season joined up with the USMNT squad yesterday after flying out from the UK on Sunday.
That will give Berhalter and his coaching staff four days to assess the former Borussia Dortmund star before making a decision as to whether he should start against Mexico in Cincinnati or whether he should be introduced from the bench.
No matter what decision is taken, though, Berhalter insists Pulisic will be handled with care so that he can return to Chelsea fit and ready to make an impact.
“I think the important thing is that Christian leaves camp healthy and ready to play for Chelsea,” Berhalter explained. “That will be the first and most relevant thing on our minds.
“Later, already in the concentration, we will see at what moment he is, and we will see exactly what his role will be. For this reason, we have not determined what his role will be, but you can be sure that he will participate in these matches.”
Source by Football London