Manchester City forward Chloe Kelly has suffered an ACL injury that will rule her out of action for an ‘extended period’ and cost her a place in the Great Britain squad for the Olympics this summer.
Kelly was stretchered off with her right leg in a brace during City’s 4-0 WSL win over Birmingham at the weekend and further tests have now revealed the extent of the damage.
The 23-year-old had already scored twice in the game and it is a cruel blow to end what has been an excellent first season for her in Manchester, having made the switch from Everton last summer.
Kelly’s impact on a City squad filled with world class stars has been huge. She jointly leads the WSL in assists this season, as well as scoring ten goals of her own, averaging either a goal or assist every game. She is also among the nominees for WSL Player of the Season as a result.
“Speechless and gutted but grateful for all the support in my first season at this fantastic club,” Kelly tweeted after the news was announced.
“I know this won’t be easy but I am ready for the challenge ahead. I have the best people around to support me every single step of the way. I promise you I will come back stronger.”
ACL recoveries can typically vary from six months to a year, which means that Kelly also stands to miss a significant chunk of next season while she goes through the rehab process.
Given her domestic form and the regularity with which she has been called up by England recently, Kelly had stood a strong chance of being included in interim coach Hege Riise’s 18-player squad for the delayed Olympics tournament in Japan in July.
Depending on her recovery timeline and her fitness when she is able to play again next season, the longer term concern would be any potential risk posed to playing at Euro 2022 on home soil.
Kelly made her England debut in late 2018 and has seven senior caps to date. She also helped the junior Lionesses finish third at the 2018 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.