Frank Lampard on Christian Pulisic’s Chelsea absence as he gives injury update

Christian Pulisic was unable to play against Brighton on Monday night as Chelsea face a longer wait for their star winger to return.

The US international suffered a hamstring injury in the FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal at the start of August.

And while Frank Lampard was optimistic Pulisic would be fit for the start of the 2020/21 season, he has not recovered in time.

The 21-year-old, who now wears the No.10 shirt at Stamford Bridge, returned to training last week at Cobham.

But the hamstring issue is still affecting him, and Lampard admitted Pulisic has taken a few steps back in his bid to get out on the pitch.

Asked why the American attacker was absent at the Amex Stadium, Lampard explained: “Christian was training with us last week.

“But he had a bit of discomfort a couple of days ago when he was trying to be in contention for today.

“It would have been a big ask for today and he has had to take a few steps back and we will have to see.”

Without Pulisic, Chelsea still saw off Graham Potter’s side on the south coast as Timo Werner and Kai Havertz made their debuts.

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Jorginho opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Werner was brought down by Brighton keeper Matt Ryan.

And while Kepa Arrizabalaga had another moment to forget with Brighton’s second-half equaliser, Reece James thundered home a second Chelsea goal minutes later before Kurt Zouma’s deflected finish from a corner sealed the 3-1 victory.

Striker Werner was hobbling at the end, though, Lampard said: “He took a knock when he won the penalty which we hope is a dead leg.

“I would like to think if it is that we have a bit of time to get him back [for the Liverpool game on Sunday].”

Midfielder Jorginho was substituted early, and Lampard added: “Jorginho is just tiredness. A lot of players are not fully fit at the moment and that is just the way it is.

“I thought they dealt with the rigors of the game very well in terms of how tough it is to come to Brighton when you are not quite there.”

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