Mead needs 'a miracle' as England boss Wiegman plans for Women's World Cup without Arsenal forward

By Sports Desk March 28, 2023

Beth Mead will miss the Women's World Cup unless "a miracle happens", according to England head coach Sarina Wiegman.

The Arsenal forward suffered an anterior cruciate ligament knee injury in November and has not played since.

Such injuries are long-term setbacks, and it was the cruellest of blows for Mead, coming so soon after she played a starring role in England's Euro 2022 triumph.

Mead won the Player of the Tournament award and the Golden Boot as hosts England swept to glory, edging out Germany 2-1 in the Wembley Stadium final on July 31.

The 27-year-old former Sunderland striker would have been central to England's plans for this year's global tournament, which is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand in July and August.

Wiegman believes there is next to no chance of Mead being fit to feature for the Lionesses, however.

Speaking in a press conference on Tuesday, Wiegman said of Mead: "I had a conversation with her. She's doing well. She's in rehab and she's doing good.

"But the World Cup is actually too early, so what we said now is she's not in our plans now.

"[She should] just really take the time to get back well, but if a miracle happens and she goes so fast we will reconsider it, but at this moment I don't expect that."

England have home friendlies against Australia and Brazil in April as they build towards the focal point of the year.

There are also worries over Chelsea forward Fran Kirby, who is sidelined with a knee injury of her own, albeit not one as serious as the one Mead sustained.

"Of course I'm concerned because she's been out for a while now," Wiegman said. "But I want to keep this opportunity open, and she'll be treated as we treat anyone else.

"Hopefully she gets fit, gets on the pitch, gets playing, and then you need to show performance and fitness. It's a little concern, but also don't think too much forward, just see how she progresses."

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