Christian Pulisic has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be available for Chelsea's London derby away to Arsenal, Thomas Tuchel has revealed.
Pulisic missed an open training with the Chelsea squad on Wednesday and is currently self isolating. According to UK government guidelines he must now isolate for 10 days. That raises doubt over his potential involvement against Liverpool next weekend as he may struggle for sufficient training time to win a place in Tuchel's side.
Writing on Instagram, Pulisic said: "Unfortunately I tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Thankfully I'm fully vaccinated and I have no symptoms so far. Can't wait to get back in action! Thank you for your support."
US Soccer, meanwhile, say they will liaise with Chelsea to ascertain whether Pulisic will be available for their World Cup qualifiers next month.
Though the news is frustrating for the US international, who scored in Chelsea's opening weekend win over Crystal Palace, the concern for Chelsea will be soothed by the likely availability of Hakim Ziyech, who has recovered from a shoulder injury to be available for the trip to the Emirates Stadium. Tuchel also indicated that record signing Romelu Lukaku is in consideration to make his second debut after a $135 million move from Inter Milan.
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Chelsea, who were without Ruben Loftus-Cheek on the opening weekend, are not the only club struggling with COVID-19 issues ahead of their game. Indeed Sunday's opponents Arsenal could be without four players with Alexandre Lacazette and Alex Runarsson ruled out. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian face a race against time to be available. All of the quartet missed the opening day defeat to Brentford.
"I was surprised [that the game went ahead]," the manager said, "but the regulators decided that the best thing to do was to play the game."