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Women’s World Cup: England’s Keira Walsh to sit out game against China following knee injury

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Keira Walsh has been ruled out of Tuesday’s final Group D match against China PR following a knee injury.

England’s hopes of winning the Women’s World Cup suffered a blow on Friday when the midfielder was taken off the pitch on a stretcher with what appeared to be a serious knee injury during the Group D match against Denmark.

On Saturday, England’s Women’s Squad confirmed that Walsh had undergone scans and had not suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the Women’s World Cup

The 26-year-old was substituted during Friday’s 1-0 win against Denmark.

Due to her injury, the squad said Walsh will sit out Tuesday’s game against China in Adelaide and will remain at England’s Terrigal base to continue her recovery.

Her knee injury will continue to be assessed by England medical staff and no further update will be provided at this stage.

Walsh, who was an integral part of the England team that won the Euros last year, suddenly collapsed to the ground without any contact with other players in the 38th minute and immediately called for medical assistance.

After a lengthy delay, she left the field with her head in her hands on a stretcher and was replaced by Laura Coombs.

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England beats Denmark 1-0

England manager Sarina Wiegman said after the game: “Of course I’m concerned because she couldn’t walk off the pitch, but we don’t know yet, so we can’t take any assumptions. Let’s just wait until we really have a diagnosis and then we can tell you.

“You saw what we did, [Georgia] Stanway dropped back and Laura [Coombs] came in. Yes, of course we had to find our feet a little bit.

“You saw different stages. We really dominated the first half. Then Keira went out and we had to adapt to the situation.”

Speaking before the Denmark game, Walsh revealed that the idea of achieving a personal trophy treble with a World Cup victory had hardly even crossed her mind.

She followed up England’s Euro 2022 triumph and player-of-the-match honours in that final with a move to Barcelona, with whom she achieved Champions League glory alongside fellow Lioness Lucy Bronze in June.

Securing a first World Cup title at the 20 August Sydney final would mark the pinnacle of an extraordinary 13-month period for Rochdale-native Walsh.

She said: “It’s not something I’ve thought about but it would be pretty exciting.

England's Keira Walsh was stretchered off during the game
Image:
The midfielder, 26, was stretchered off during the game on Friday

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“I think when I first moved to Barcelona I did have to take a deep breath. When you go into that environment and you look at their midfield it is a little bit daunting, I think is fair to say.

“They were all super helpful with it though and I’m not really on social media to see those things. I just take the game day-to-day and enjoy playing. I don’t really focus too much on what’s going on on the outside.”

She added: “But when it’s all said and done, winning the Euros and the Champions League in the space of a year, you do need to take a breath and take a step back – not to evaluate it but let it all sink in. It’s an exciting thing and then going to a World Cup as well.”

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