Chelsea forward Sam Kerr missed Australia’s opening World Cup game against the Republic of Ireland after sustaining an injury in training.
The 29-year-old has picked up a calf problem which is expected to keep her out for at least two group matches:
SQUAD NOTE: Sam Kerr is unavailable tonight after she picked up a calf injury at training on MD-1. Sam will be unavailable for the next two matches with the Matildas Medical Team to re-assess her following our second group stage match.
— CommBank Matildas (@TheMatildas) July 20, 2023
It’s a real setback for Kerr, who was looking forward to helping her country make a big impact as co-hosts of the tournament.
Luckily, the Matildas did get off to a winning start, with a penalty from Stephanie Catley sealing a 1-0 win in their World Cup opener.
There is no doubt, though, that the Aussies missed the cutting edge that Kerr provides in front of goal, but they will have to do without her for at least one more game.
Who will Kerr’s Australia face next?
Australia take on Nigeria next Thursday. The Matildas will be favourites to get the three points, even without Kerr, with their opponents 40th in the FIFA world rankings.
They face Canada in their final group fixture in 11 days’ time when it is hoped that Kerr has had enough time to recover fitness.
Which other Chelsea players are at the World Cup?
The Blues have had nineteen call-ups. Five for England: Millie Bright (who is the captain), Hannah Hampton, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles and Lauren James. Three for Germany: Ann-Katrin Berger, Melanie Leupolz and Sjoeke Nusken.
There are also three representing Canada (Ashley Lawrence, Kadeisha Buchanan and Jessie Fleming), two for Norway (Guro Reiten and Maren Mjelde), and two for Sweden (Zecira Musovic and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd).
Eve Perisset (France), Aniek Nouwen (the Netherlands) and Maika Hamano (Japan) make up the rest that are involved.