Ellie Carpenter's 'proud' return ahead of Matildas World Cup campaign

The Aussie wingback made her return after months out with injury.

Ellie Carpenter (pictured right) injured during the Champions League final and (pictured left) Carpenter with the trophy.
Ellie Carpenter made a "proud" return to football for Lyon after recovering from a serious knee injury. (Getty Images)

The Matildas have been granted a huge World Cup boost after star Ellie Carpenter made a "proud" return to football after more than eight months away with injury.

The fullback, one of Australia's key players, came on as a second-half substitute in Lyon's victory at Rodez in the French league on Saturday. The Matildas star played half an hour in her first match since a serious knee injury suffered in last season's Women's Champions League final.

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Carpenter returned to a warm applause from the crowd, which is not just a big addition to the Matildas but also the league leaders as they won the match 5-0. Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson would have been thriled Carpenter got through the 30 minutes and said she was only 'getting started' on her comeback.

"Very proud and grateful to be back," said Carpenter on Saturday in a Twitter post after her comeback game. "I have learned a lot during these months about myself. The ones who have been there since day 1. Thank you, my support system has been second to none. Would not be here without you guys. I'm just getting started."

With six months to go before a home World Cup, it's always been the Cowra, NSW player's ambition to get back for a key role on the biggest stage of all.

A few days ago, she greeted the news that Stadium Australia would host the Cup's opening game in July with the comment: "This is amazing."

Football world praises Ellie Carpenter return

It has been a long road back for Carpenter since she ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on a bittersweet night in Turin last May. Considered one of Lyon's best players all season and starting in the biggest club game in women's soccer, her night lasted only 13 minutes as she went down, clutching the inside of her left knee after pushing off for a sprint.

She went off in tears on a stretcher but later joined her teammates in celebrating her team's 3-1 win over the then holders Barcelona. Since her return, Australian and Lyon fans have praised Carpenter for her successful return after the serious injury.

with AAP

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