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Football Reporting


Too ‘early’ to rule Beth Mead out of WC

England manager Sarina Wiegman said it is too “early” to assess whether Beth Mead will recover from her ACL injury in time for the World Cup in July.

Mead, who was named player of the tournament for England’s Euro-winning campaign in 2021, ruptured her ACL in November, placing her World Cup in doubt.

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“It’s a little early to say,” Wiegman said. “I don’t want to push it. She’s had so many things going on. We’ll see how her rehabilitation goes then we’ll look at the future. I don’t want her to look too far forward right now because of her situation.”

Mead lost her mother to ovarian cancer in January, and Wiegman has given the Arsenal forward time and space.

“She had of course other private issues,” Wiegman said. “I left the knee situation until now as I just wanted her to be OK and get settled with the situation and sadness she had around her.

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“She has to start her recovery. She told me she’s doing well. She really wants to make it. First she needs to settle and we will see from there. For now I won’t push that.”

Mead was runner-up to Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas in the 2022 Ballon d’Or awards following her impressive season both for club and country. While she will be out for England’s Arnold Clark Cup matches this month, fellow Euros star Alessia Russo has been included in the squad.

The Manchester United forward was the subject of a world-record bid from Arsenal near transfer deadline day with her contract up at the end of the season.

Despite the transfer interest in Russo, Wiegman said it has not come as a distraction.

“[Transfer deadline day] is another thing developing in the women’s game, it was a big topic, and she was the subject of it,” Wiegman said. “But I don’t think she’s distracted. I went to Manchester United’s game on Sunday and I don’t think she was distracted, she was just doing her job and was very motivated to play a good game.”

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