Chelsea will be without Christian Pulisic for ten days after the winger picked up an ankle injury on international duty with the United States.
After drawing with El Salvador (0-0) and Canada (1-1) in their opening two matches, the USMNT finally picked up their first win of the new World Cup qualifying campaign, beating Honduras 4-1 on Wednesday night.
Pulisic was in exciting form at Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano, completing six of his nine attempted dribbles, hitting one shot on target and creating one chance for his teammates.
But the 22-year-old landed awkwardly on his ankle following a collision with former Wigan Athletic and Hull City defender Maynor Figueroa in the second half. Though he tried to play on, Pulisic was eventually replaced by Seattle Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan in the 62nd minute.
After the match, USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter revealed he and his staff were unsure about the extent of the injury and that more will be revealed when Pulisic is assessed in London.
“Christian has a slight ankle injury,” said Berhalter. “We’re going to get more info on it when he goes back to London, the severity of it.”
Pulisic joined a lengthy injury list for the USMNT, who were also without the likes of Timothy Weah and Zack Steffen for various fitness and health concerns, while both Gio Reyna and Sergino Dest were forced out of the camp.
Chelsea face Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday before they begin the defence of their Champions League title at home to Zenit on Tuesday.
And Tuchel has confirmed Pulisic will miss both those games, with the ankle injury set to keep him out for ten days.
“Christian came yesterday on crutches. He has an ankle injury with about ten days,” Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel told reporters at a press conference.
Alongside Pulisic, the Blues were also sweating over the fitness of N’Golo Kante, with Tuchel revealing he’ll also miss the visit of Aston Villa, though he could return against Zenit in the Champions League on Tuesday.
“N’Golo still suffers a little bit,” said Tuchel. “We will try for N’Golo on Tuesday. That looks good.”
Right-back Reece James is suspended but while Romelu Lukaku was a doubt with a thigh issue, he trained on Thursday and is in contention to face the Villans.
Finally, Thiago Silva has still not been ruled out of this weekend’s match. However, his availability remains up in the air after the Brazilian FA asked FIFA to impose a five-day ban on Premier League clubs who refused to release players for international duty due to concerns over travel to countries currently on the UK’s coronavirus red list.
“Thiago isn’t officially out,” Tuchel revealed. “The chairman is still in talks. I’m waiting for the final decision. We will take the latest decision tomorrow morning.”
On the travel confusion surrounding international breaks, he added: “Me, personally, I think there could be a solution to move the games from the red list countries to the green list. We played in Romania, Seville. This was a solution to where games could be played. Maybe we could find something like this.”