Christian Pulisic’s injury will keep the Chelsea and USMNT winger out for a lot longer than anticipated.

Before Chelsea’s FA Cup match against Manchester City last weekend, manager Graham Potter said that American Christian Pulisic would be out for “weeks.” But as more time has passed and more testing has been done, Pulisic’s knee injury appears to be more worse. Pulisic will be sidelined for a few months, according to Potter, who stated this during the pre-game news conference on Wednesday before Chelsea’s game against Fulham.
We anticipate that Christian will be out for a few months, preferably fewer, Potter added.

Additionally, he provided an update on Raheem Sterling, noting that his injury is less serious than Pulisic’s, although he omitted to provide a timetable for his recovery. After spending so many games on Potter’s bench, Pulisic was finally getting a run of games when this injury occurred.

If Pulisic is sidelined for two months, it may potentially affect his availability for the United States men’s national team’s Concacaf Nations League games in March. Even if Pulisic shouldn’t be required to achieve victory against Grenada and El Salvador, it’s still lost time that could have been spent assisting whoever is selected to lead the line up front. They’ll need to get along, particularly now that Pulisic is likely the most crucial player.

It is now clear why Chelsea felt the need to sign Joao Felix, even though the Atletico Madrid forward merely signed a six-month loan agreement. Felix can play everywhere in Chelsea’s attack in exchange for Chelsea paying his full wage and a €11 million loan fee.

Adding a stopgap player makes sense because missing out on the Champions League would cost more than Felix’s loan fee, especially given that Christopher Nkunku will likely join from RB Leipzig in the summer. Similar to Pulisic, Chelsea is caught up in carrying out their long-term goals while attempting to attain short-term success.

Pulisic was on the rise following a successful World Cup performance with the United States and was already prohibited from leaving the club during the summer. The possibility of a short-term loan to restore value, similar to Felix’s loan to Chelsea, would definitely increase if he saw consistent playing time for Chelsea.

All of those plans are on hold because of the injury. In addition to needing to recover and demonstrate his health once more, Pulisic will face stiffer opposition in the attack. Hakim Ziyech can now overtake him at this point, pushing Pulisic farther back on the bench and reducing his summer alternatives. When Pulisic can no longer afford to wait for Chelsea as he hits his prime, it is a delicate balance for both the club and the player.

For Pulisic, the coming months will be crucial. He clawed his way back into the team, but at Stamford Bridge, he was hindered by yet another injury.