Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic has suffered an injury while away on international duty, with former Blues star Paulo Ferreira insisting that its an unfortunate result for the player and the club. The 24-year-old was expected to earn his 52nd senior cap for the United States during Friday’s friendly meeting with Japan in Duesseldorf. 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.

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.

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.