Final call made on Sam Kerr as Matildas rocked by more bad news before Paris Olympics

There had been a chain of thought that the Aussie captain could still take part despite her ACL injury.

Football Australia have officially ruled Sam Kerr out of the Paris Olympics after there were hopes she could take part in the campaign at some stage. The Matildas captain tore her ACL during a training camp with club team Chelsea in January, and will spend the majority of 2024 on the sidelines.

The minimum recovery period for an ACL injury is usually nine months, however it can take up to 12 months before players get back on the field. With the Paris Olympics kicking off in late July and the football tournament taking place in August (eight months after the injury), there was a chain of thought that Kerr could still be picked in the Matildas' squad even if she wasn't at full fitness.

Coach Tony Gustavsson has shown he's willing to pick injured players in the hope they can recover for the end of a tournament, and did so with striker Kyah Simon for the World Cup last year. But Football Australia officially put an end to that dream on Tuesday and said Kerr won't play at the Olympics.

Sam Kerr and Matildas teammates.
Sam Kerr has officially been ruled out of the Paris Olympics in July and August. Image: Getty

The revelation came as FA named a 23-player squad for the Matildas' upcoming friendlies against China in Adelaide and Sydney. "Attacker Amy Sayer (ACL) and forward Sam Kerr (ACL) remain on the sidelines with long-term injuries," the squad announcement said. "Kerr and Sayer will continue their rehabilitation programs in their home club environments and subsequently will not be available for selection for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games."


Some had suggested that Kerr's selection in the Olympics squad would be warranted even if was just to take a penalty during a shootout. Gustavsson controversially picked Simon for last year's World Cup when she was just eight months into her recovery from an ACL injury, hoping the gun striker could be used later in the tournament.

Simon didn't end up seeing a minute of action and Gustavsson later revealed she suffered a calf injury at training to go along with a setback in her ACL rehab. Also working against Kerr was the fact the Olympics squad is only 18 players as opposed to 23 for the World Cup.

Sam Kerr, pictured here in action for the Matildas during the Women's World Cup in 2023.
Sam Kerr in action for the Matildas during the Women's World Cup in 2023.

Despite the sad development around Kerr, Matildas fans did get some good news on Tuesday. Influential defender Clare Hunt has overcome a stress fracture in her foot and will play against China on May 31 in Adelaide and June 3 in Sydney.

But the Matildas will still be without Katrina Gorry, who remains in doubt for the Olympics. Gorry, who had ankle surgery last month, is in a race against time to be fit for the Paris Games, while Aivi Luik (hamstring) will also miss the matches against a Chinese side coached by former Matildas coach Ante Milicic.

But Gustavsson hopes both will be available for Olympic selection. "I think everyone can do the math here and understand that obviously the Olympic roster will be based mostly out of those that are in this upcoming May/June camp," he said on Tuesday.

"However we also have some players in Katrina and Aivi unavailable for selection for this window but most likely will be physically available to be part of an Olympic roster. This window will be a tough one for me and my staff in terms of evaluating players, where they are, and then the final selection process for Paris."

with agencies