Frank Lampard Rules Christian Pulisic Out vs Newcastle United

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In the latest Chelsea team fitness update, manager Frank Lampard ruled Christian Pulisic out for Saturday’s Premier League fixture at Newcastle United. The American has apparently suffered yet another setback while was closing in on a return to action.

“Pulisic is not fit for Newcastle but he has stepped up his training slowly. It has been quite a problematic injury, we have been cautious,” Lampard said. One word in that sentence, “problematic” raises some alarm bells here.

Newcastle United vs Chelsea FC FYIs

Kickoff: 7:30 am ET, 12:30 pm BST, Saturday Nov 21

Chelsea Starting XI Prediction: go here

Team news for both sides: go to this link

Odds: Chelsea win -209, Newcastle win +525, Draw +340

Online: Streaming service Peacock, NBCSports.com

The most recent hamstring injury was suffered while he was warming up for the Halloween league clash at Burnley, and he hasn’t seen any action since. When it occurred, he walked off on his own power, and the injury didn’t seem all that serious.

However, if it’s “problematic,” well that sounds like a first euphemism. There was actually some optimism, on the fitness front, for the face of the USMNT when the international break began.

He went to Team USA camp under the guise that he might be able to feature somewhere, but it ended up just being an opportunity to receive more treatment on his hamstring, and catch up with the Stars and Stripes coaching staff and fellow players.

He returned early to Chelsea, where he has a special training program. As he should, because this injury appears to be tricky, with the term “complications” often being used to describe it.

Assessing it all, within the context of the fact that he missed the early part of the season due to a different hamstring injury, sustained in the August 1 FA Cup final loss to Arsenal, and well, it’s “problematic” and there’s “complications” to say the least.

The chronic injury and the inconsistent information coming from official sources around those chronic injuries is very reminiscent of NBA star Derrick Rose.

derrick-rose-mike-dunleavy-joakim-noah

And looking at it one way, this is very unfortunate, as we just don’t know how far Rose could have gone, had he stayed healthy. Winning the NBA MVP award very early in his career, the sky was the limit for him, once upon a time.

On the other hand, Rose is still growing strong, 12 years and counting in the league, so he’s still done very alright for himself. It will be interesting to see what happens with Pulisic over the long haul of his career.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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