Thomas Tuchel has insisted “impatient” Christian Pulisic is finally closing in on his Chelsea return.
Pulisic has not featured since finding the net in Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace to open the Premier League season back on 14 August.
The 23-year-old forward has been sidelined with ankle trouble picked up on USA duty in early September, in what has represented his sixth significant injury in his two years at Chelsea.
Pulisic is yet to string together an extended run for Chelsea, but Tuchel insisted the forward is now inching towards full fitness.
“He was already so close to coming to team training last week, then had a little setback and a little reaction, some pain but nothing serious, and from there we go on,” said Tuchel.
“He is very impatient of course. He does everything and we can see him suffer in every meeting and every time we meet him here at the training ground he’s really suffering.
“He wants to be on the pitch and help us and everybody is doing their very best. But unfortunately the injury takes its time.”
Pulisic will be the only Chelsea star to miss out on Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Malmo at Stamford Bridge through injury.
Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva are available again, with boss Tuchel no doubt eyeing changes given Malmo’s two Champions League defeats have come at a cost of seven goals conceded without reply.
Pulisic will be itching to get back to action as soon as possible after the midweek encounter and Tuchel remains convinced his return is now on the cards.
“Christian got injured during a match with the USA, it was a foul, a tough foul; he hurt his ankle,” said Tuchel. “There’s nothing to worry about in terms of details though. I cannot give you all the details because I’m simply not a doctor.
“But at the moment he has some setbacks from pain, not from major injury or complication, but simply from pain in the ankle that disturbs him.
“Once these players with quick movements like Christian, once they feel this pain and are not free in their movement, the recovery is not happening.
“So you start all over again, start all over again and you reach a certain point, and okay he comes back, then you have to hit pause and then you start all over again. So right now we are very, very close.”