There’s good news and there’s bad news.
One should always start with the bad news, but we’re going to start with the good because that’s first in the headline and is the most immediately important.
The hamstring injury that Christian Pulisic suffered in the warm-up on Saturday at Turf Moor has shown to be “very, very minor” on scans and while he won’t be fit for tomorrow’s Champions League match against Rennes, he might already be ready to return on the weekend, as revealed by head coach Frank Lampard in today’s press conference.
“Christian had a scan yesterday that showed a very, very minor injury to his hamstring, very minor. So he’s already back outside. He won’t be fit tomorrow, but we’ll see after that.”
“He made the right decision in not attempting to play the game [against Burnley], because he could have made it worse. So it’s clearly a relief that he will be back very soon, because he’s an important player for us.”
But if there is one player we with whom we need to be extra careful in this regard, it’s Pulisic, who’s quickly building a reputation of being almost as injury prone as devastatingly direct with the ball. On the plus side, we (and even eternal injury-optimist Frank Lampard) are fortunately aware of this. On the flip side, we (and even eternal injury-optimist Frank Lampard) are all too keenly aware of this.
In a line that was censored in the official website’s version of events, Lampard warned that we’re going to have to manage Pulisic’s evidently paper-thin soft tissues very carefully and for the rest of eternity.
“With the actual muscle injuries, it’s a hard one to call, it’s forever going to be a challenge, some players that play on the edge, have such speed and acceleration in their game, maybe they can be more susceptible.
“I don’t think that’s a one-fits-all answer, because it’s different for everybody. From last season we were looking at ways of managing Christian and looking at ways of being proactive in not hopefully getting so many injuries, I know that’s something he’s experienced previously in his career at Dortmund as well.
“So we’re all working in the same direction on that one, to try to get him to be as fit as regularly as possible, because we all know his talent.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
Pulisic’s of course hardly the first or the last footballer, especially the style of footballer that he is, to be injury prone. Perhaps he will grow out of it. And if not, awareness and acceptance is the first step, then we need to learn to manage it properly. Arjen Robben was a glass cannon and did just fine in his now 600-match career, though reached the 40-appearance mark only 3 times in his 19 seasons, and only once after leaving Chelsea in 2007 (Pulisic had two 40+ appearance seasons at BVB already).
This is why you start with the bad news.