In a significant setback for Chelsea Women’s team, star striker Sam Kerr has suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury during a warm-weather training camp in Morocco. The club confirmed the unfortunate news, stating that Kerr would be evaluated by a specialist in the coming days, after which she will commence her rehabilitation with Chelsea’s medical team.
The 30-year-old Australian international has been a key figure for Chelsea since joining in 2019, contributing to multiple triumphs, including four Women’s Super League (WSL) titles. Kerr, who has notched an impressive 99 goals in 128 matches for Chelsea, is a two-time WSL Golden Boot winner and was the runner-up for the Ballon d’Or awards last year.
The injury comes at a critical time for Chelsea as they lead the WSL table with 25 points after 10 games, three points ahead of rivals Arsenal and Manchester City. This setback adds to the challenges faced by the team as manager Emma Hayes prepares to depart for the United States women’s national team.
Sam Kerr’s absence is not only a blow to Chelsea but also to the Australian national team, where her leadership and influence are highly valued. The Australian Football Association noted that there is no set timeframe for her return, but she is expected to miss the remainder of the 2023-24 WSL season.
Kerr’s injury adds to a concerning trend of ACL injuries among women’s football stars, with the likes of Catarina Macario, Vivianne Miedema, Beth Mead, and Leah Williamson also suffering similar setbacks. FIFPRO, the global players union, has highlighted factors such as increased workload, travel, and insufficient rest contributing to the rise in injuries among women’s professional players.
In response to these concerns, UEFA introduced a women’s health expert panel in December to gain a deeper understanding of ACL injuries and their prevalence in the women’s game. As the football community rallies behind Sam Kerr for a swift and successful recovery, her absence leaves big shoes to fill at Chelsea, posing a challenge to the team’s aspirations for continued success in the WSL.