England manager Sarina Wiegman says Chelsea captain Millie Bright is not expected to be back to full fitness until April.
The defender, who led the Lionesses in last summer’s World Cup, was a notable absentee from the squad that Wiegman has selected for the friendlies against Austria and Italy later this month. Asked about Bright’s injury status, Wiegman said:
“Millie is in rehab. It goes by plan so she’s in a good place but needs more time. Hopefully, she is back for April, but let’s see how it goes.”
Bright has not been seen in action since November due to a knee injury and it looks like she is set for an extended period on the sidelines.
A key player has returned to the England squad
Captain Leah Williamson has been called up by Wiegman. The Arsenal midfielder missed the World Cup due to an ACL injury.
However, she made her comeback against West Ham earlier this month, and despite the lack of game time, Wiegman said she wanted to have the player back involved so she can get more minutes under her belt:
“It’s really nice, especially for her. She’s back, she’s gaining minutes at Arsenal. They are happy with where she is and it will be nice to see her back next week in camp. She’s a very good player. Even though she’s been out for months, her decision-making is really good. The team stepped up [without her] but it’s good to have her back. We’ll play two friendlies in warm weather, good conditions. What we can do is experiment.”
There was one notable omission from Wiegman’s squad
Despite scoring 15 goals in 16 appearances for Manchester United this campaign, Nikita Parris was not selected by Wiegman.
The Lionesses boss explained her decision not to pick the 29-year-old by saying there is too much competition for places up front.