FIFA Men's World Cup
Josh Sargent, Christian Pulisic injury analysis: How USMNT stars are recovering
FIFA Men's World Cup

Josh Sargent, Christian Pulisic injury analysis: How USMNT stars are recovering

Updated Dec. 2, 2022 12:15 p.m. ET

World Cup and Team USA fans, SportsDocMatt here to discuss key injuries to a pair of star United States men’s national team players ahead of their match against the Netherlands in the Round of 16 on Saturday.

Christian Pulisic

In the crucial group stage match against Iran, Christian Pulisic scored in the 38th minute, which ended up being the winning goal for the U.S. as they advanced.

Pulisic had a fantastic finish just past the keeper, but his momentum carried him into the goalie, and he appeared to run into the opposing player's left knee.  The knee went into Christian's front pelvic bone as well as the abdominal muscle area after the goal had been scored. 


Pulisic briefly left the field but returned for the remained of the first half, until he was subbed out at halftime and taken to the hospital for additional testing as well as an abdominal CT scan.

Christian Pulisic provides an update on his status ahead of the United States vs. Netherlands match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Well, Team USA fans, Pulisic's CT scan looks to be negative except for a contusion of the pelvis — basically a bruise to the front part of the pelvic bone and ligaments.  This is an area in which there are several ligaments that hold the front of the pelvis together and also allow for the core to maintain stability.  Likely these were strained and some of the muscles around the area were also bruised by the direct blow. 

This is excellent news that he was able to avoid any major internal damage to the abdominal structures, but a pelvic bruise can be a bit sore for several days.  He will undergo physical therapy and modalities and ice compression around the area to help improve the swelling and pain.  

We should see Pulisic on Saturday against the Netherlands, with U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter saying Friday the team is "hopeful" their star player can go.

Josh Sargent

How about the impressive striker, Josh Sargent! He has been instrumental so far in the USMNT's World Cup success in helping the team move into the knockout round. During Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Iran, Sargent jumped over an opposing player and his right foot landed awkwardly on the ball, forcing him out of the game in the 77th minute. 

Dr. Matt Provencher gives his prognosis for USMNT's Josh Sargent after suffering an ankle injury in the United States' 1-0 win over Iran.

Sargent is dealing with some ankle soreness that — from video analysis — looked initially to be a locked type of knee injury, but really now looks like most of the force of the injury went into the right ankle joint, in particular, the back or posterior part of the joint. This is likely a capsular, as well as a partial lateral to posterior ligament strain of the ankle.  He will undergo extensive physical therapy, edema control, icing, and stretching as well as ankle muscle work in order to get tuned up for the knockout round match.  

Sargent's status is being reported as day-to-day, but I would expect we will see Sargent back in the lineup. However, Berhalter might choose to limit his overall load and time on the pitch.  

Having Sargent healthy enough to play is vastly important for the U.S. on Saturday. He has already appeared in 23 games for the USMNT, and he is having a great season with Norwich City as he is tied for the most goals (9) in the EFL Championship. 

Christian and Josh, we wish you the best of luck in your recovery.

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Renowned orthopedist Dr. Matt Provencher and his company,, deliver data-driven injury insights to football fans. Provencher provides important predictive player health and recovery information about post-injury performance, the impact of weather, field conditions and more. 


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