Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic has suffered an injury while away on international duty.
The 24-year-old was expected to earn his 52nd senior cap for the United States during Friday’s friendly meeting with Japan in Dusseldorf.
However, the USMNT announced Gregg Berhalter’s latest lineup with Pulisic absent, explaining that he had picked up an unspecified knock in training earlier this week.
He is set to be evaluated on a daily basis to determine if he can play any part in the USA’s next friendly against Saudi Arabia in Murcia on Tuesday, their final outing before naming the squad for the World Cup in Qatar, where they are in Group B alongside England, Wales and Iran.
This is certainly not the first time Pulisic has been injured on international duty and he will hope the issue is nothing serious as he fights for his place under new manager Graham Potter at Chelsea.
Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic will not feature for the USA against Japan in Dusseldorf
His future had become subject to considerable doubt amid a lack of regular opportunities under previous coach Thomas Tiuchel, though he was introduced as a late substitute for Potter’s delayed first match in charge - the underwhelming 1-1 Champions League group-stage draw with Red Bull Salzburg at Stamford Bridge on September 14.
He also featured in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Brighton at the Amex Stadium, which the Blues won thanks to two goals from summer addition Carney Chukwuemeka.
Pulisic recently opened up on his strained relationship with Tuchel in an autobiography, admitting he had been left “dumbfounded and very disappointed” after being omitted by the German for the Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid last season, with Kai Havertz getting the nod at the last minute instead.
Pulisic - whose father has also appeared outspoken on his situation in west London - is only under contract at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2024 and was linked with a host of clubs over the summer transfer window, including Juventus, Manchester United, Newcastle and Atletico Madrid, among others.
He will hope to be fit for Chelsea’s first match back after the international break as they commence a hectic pre-World Cup fixture block with a Premier League London derby against Crystal Palace, which is quickly followed by a Champions League visit from Serie A holders AC Milan.