Christian Pulisic is ready to hand Chelsea a major boost ahead of Sunday’s top of the table clash with Tottenham.
The USA winger is pushing to be fit for the game at Stamford Bridge after making a significant step up in his recovery from a hamstring injury.
Pulisic hasn’t played since coming on as a late substitute against Krasnodar last month. He tweaked his hamstring during the warm-up against Burnley days later, forcing him to withdraw from that game, and has spent the time since trying to rectify the problem.
Chelsea’s medical staff have now been encouraged by his response to latest treatment as they try to solve muscle issues that have troubled the 22-year-old since his time at Borussia Dortmund.
He has stepped up his intensity in recent days, with Lampard now hopeful he could be in contention to face Premier League leaders Spurs.
Pulisic was left out of the travelling squad for Tuesday night’s Champions League tie with Rennes, but Lampard said: “The good news is that he has had aggression in the last week. The reason he has stayed back is to get some physical work in, so hopefully that will have him ready for selection come the weekend and onwards.”
Chelsea have been examining Pulisic’s long-term fitness, with Lampard revealing last week: “Christian had an issue before coming to us, some muscular injuries. He’s had them again. So we need to try to find the right balance between playing, resting and maintenance during the week to try to get the best out of him.”
Lampard insists Chelsea cannot be distracted by the prospect of facing Spurs this weekend when victory against Rennes has the potential to secure qualification for the Champions League knockout stages with two group games to spare.
He said: “I am fully focused on the challenge of Rennes because I think when you are in the Champions League playing against a team at the level of Rennes, who I was very impressed with when we played them at Stamford Bridge with 10 men, then you slip up.
“Everyone keeps saying if you get the result then you are through the group and it could be done. But if we get the wrong result then we make it a difficult couple of games ahead because we go to Seville next. I won’t think too far ahead to Sunday and Tottenham as I want to consider Rennes at face value.”
Source: Evening Standard