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Football Australia plays down captain Kerr injury panic

Canberra, July 25 (IANS) Football Australia (FA) has sought to play down the panic over Matildas’ captain Sam Kerr’s calf injury.

A spokesperson for FA denied that Kerr has torn her calf — an injury that would likely rule her out of the entire FIFA Women’s World Cup — after a slip of the tongue from teammate Kyra Cooney-Cross.

Asked about the injury that saw Kerr miss Australia’s World Cup opener, Cooney-Cross sent shockwaves through Australian football, Xinhua reported.

“It’s unfortunate that Sam tore her calf before the game. But I think we’re just focusing on Nigeria. Sam’s doing her own thing to get back as quick as possible and that’s also important,” she told reporters on Monday.

FA has not revealed any details of the severity of Kerr’s injury other than saying the star striker would miss the Matildas’ first two World Cup group games against Ireland and Nigeria but could feature against Canada.

Kerr has dismissed suggestions her tournament is over and teammates have repeatedly said their captain will have a major impact on the later stages of the World Cup.

As Australia’s all-time leading goalscorer, Kerr was the centerpiece of promotion for the historic World Cup – the first ever held in Oceania – with the Matildas considered title contenders.

Speculation over the injury has dominated media coverage of the tournament in Australia in the lead-up to the Matildas’ final two group matches on July 27 and 31. However, midfielder Katrina Gorry said on Monday that Kerr’s injury has not become a distraction for the players.

“We have incredible players all across the park, so for us it’s about focusing on the players that we do have,” she said.

“We’ll need her in the back end of this tournament, so as long as she’s staying on her plan then we’ll stay on ours and we’ll get her there.”

Hosts Australia temporarily lead Group B with three points after the first round of games.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20, will see the top two teams from each of the eight groups progress to the last 16.

This marks the inaugural instance of the women’s football’s premier tournament expanding to a 32-team format.

Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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