Pulisic injury history of ‘concern’ to Lampard

Christian Pulisic’s bad luck with injuries means the Chelsea winger needs to be carefully managed and must not be “overcooked”, according to head coach Frank Lampard.

The American was one of the star performers as Chelsea qualified for the Champions League last season, scoring 11 goals in 27 starts.

But his season was still marred by injury problems – including the hamstring strain which abruptly ended his FA Cup final against Arsenal and meant he missed the start of this campaign.

The 22-year-old is back in training and close to returning, and with Lampard saying he is “a week or two away” from playing, Pulisic could be involved in the London derby against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, 3 October.

“There is always a concern about a player’s fitness when history says there has been some injuries,” Lampard said.

“With Christian’s recent record, you are trying to find the right way to get the balance right and get the best out of him and make sure you don’t overcook him and leave him susceptible to injury – particularly when a player has explosive pace.

“That’s a fine line. We are working on that but Christian is also open to that. He is hungry to play, but it’s something we have to manage with him.

“We have all seen the talent and we want to get as many minutes of the really great Christian we saw last season on the pitch.”