England captain Leah Williamson says her dreams of the World Cup and Champions League are over after scans confirmed she had ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament.
The news will come as a huge setback to England’s World Cup hopes given that Williamson was set to captain the Lionesses at this summer’s tournament.
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Williamson led the England national team to the historic victory in the European Championship 2022, and established herself as a key element in Sarina Wegman’s team at the heart of the defense, but the knee injury she suffered while playing with Arsenal in Manchester United on Wednesday ruled her out from participating in the 2023 Women’s Championship. world Cup.
She wrote in one newspaper, “Until I have the words to properly express my feelings, I am going to struggle to put them into words. The hype surrounding the situation is loud and I need some calm to let it drown out.” Posted on Instagram on Friday.
“Unfortunately, the dream of the World Cup and the Champions League is over for me and everyone will think that is the main focus, but what I am facing day in and day out is what I think about the most draining.
“I had tears in my eyes and I made peace with her the night it happened, and since then I have been following the steps I was told to best help her both in the short and long term.
“In the end, I think it’s just the right time for me. In just the last couple of years, I’ve watched my teammates overcome serious illnesses and adversity with the biggest smiles on their faces. I also had the view that globally there are greater difficulties, so the conditions now are just Situational, and I’ve seen a lot worse.
“I haven’t had a day since last October when I walked onto the field without a physical or mental trace over me, and that’s a professional sport. So now I have to listen to my body, give it what it needs and if for some reason everything happens, we’ll see which way that detour leads me.
“I have given and will continue to give my all body, mind and heart for Arsenal and the Lionesses, and will be there through thick and thin for all my team mates and their biggest fan. I feel your love and support, so thank you! All I ask is a little time and space to deal with all that is to come.” .
Williamson was injured in the 15th minute of the match as she scrambled with Katie Zelm for the ball. There was minimal contact but Williamson landed awkwardly on her right leg.
Arsenal he said in a statementLeah will now start a period of rehabilitation and will be on the sidelines for a long time and will have surgery in due course.
“Everyone at Arsenal will support Leah closely throughout the journey ahead and we would ask that her privacy be respected at this time.”
With Williamson out, England will need to appoint a new captain for this summer’s Championship with defensive partner Millie Bright expected to be the front-runner for the role. But Bright is also sidelined with a knee problem as Wegman deals with what threatens to land him in a pre-tournament injury crisis.
Euro 2022 Player of the Tournament Meade needs a “miracle” to be fit to play in the World Cup, according to Wegmann, as she continues her recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained in December. Alongside Bright, fellow Chelsea player Fran Kirby is recovering from a knee injury she picked up in January.
So while England are still hoping both Bright and Kirby will be in good shape, the news of Williamson’s injury means they will apparently be without two major stars at the World Cup. With Gil Scott and Elaine White retiring after the Euros, the fresh-faced England side will be headed to Australia just one year after winning the Euros.
Williamson’s injury means England will need a new partnership at the heart of their defence. She has partnered Bright through the Euros, so one option could be to switch Alex Greenwood into centre-back, or Wegman could look at Esme Morgan who started in England’s 2-0 defeat to Australia in Bright’s absence.
While they have other options such as Lotte Wubben-Moy, it could also open the door for the return of Steve Hutton, the former England captain who is yet to feature under Wiegman.