Brutal new detail revealed about Sam Kerr's injury that has ruined Olympic hopes

The Matildas captain is next to no chance of playing at the Paris Games in July.

Sam Kerr, pictured here with fiancee Kristie Mewis at Chelsea.
Sam Kerr has undergone knee surgery and will miss the rest of the season for Chelsea. Image: Getty

Chelsea coach Emma Hayes has revealed the "innocuous" way in which Sam Kerr suffered her ACL injury, which has all-but dashed her hopes of playing for the Matildas at the Olympics. Kerr is facing a minimum of nine months on the sidelines after suffering the devastating knee injury during a training camp with Chelsea in Morocco.

With the Paris Olympics set to start in July, she is next to no chance of playing if the Matildas qualify. Hayes revealed on Thursday that Kerr has now undergone surgery, while providing new details about how the injury occurred.

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"[She was] doing a football action she does every day - turning and shooting," Hayes said. "Something very simple and innocuous."

Hayes, who said she was "gutted" for her 30-year-old striker, refused to speculate on Kerr's future at the London club. There has been much speculation that the Matildas captain might have played her last game for Chelsea, while others have expressed confidence she'll renew her contract.

"She's having surgery today. Gutted for her, gutted for the team," Hayes, who is herself leaving at the end of the season to join the US national team, said. "These injuries happen in football, Sam knows that. I think the important thing is we are here to support her.

"The recovery, the rehab begins today. Today's about letting her know she's with her Chelsea family and we'll look after her. The focus for Sam right now is on rehab. I'm sure when the time is right to discuss her future, that will come from Sam and the club - but Sam loves Chelsea and Chelsea loves Sam, so I think that's the most important thing to say on that front."

When asked about the spate of serious knee injuries occurring in the women's game, the coach played a straight bat. "This is not the moment to talk about how those things happen," she said. "They happen in the men's and women's game. Sometimes, we have a confirmation bias around ACL injuries, but they happen in the sport regardless of why they happen."

Sam Kerr, pictured here in action for Chelsea in 2023.
Sam Kerr in action for Chelsea in 2023. (Photo by Harriet Lander - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Sam Kerr injury 'going to cost' Chelsea the WSL title

Kerr has scored 99 goals in 128 games for Chelsea, who will sorely miss the star striker as they attempt to win a fifth-consecutive Women's Super League title. "It's going to cost Chelsea the title," former Denmark goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen said on Optus Sport on Thursday.

"In that league, Sam Kerr is the difference. Arsenal is a better team compared to Chelsea without Sam Kerr, it's as simple as that. Emma Hayes is, sadly, I don't think going to get that perfect Chelsea send-off that she's hoping for. But we'll see."

Meanwhile, Hayes said Chelsea will carry on preparing for the start of their Women's FA Cup title defence on Sunday. The Blues have a home tie against West Ham - the London club for which fellow Matildas players Katrina Gorry and Mackenzie Arnold, as well as Kerr's fiancee Kristie Mewis, all play.

"I know Sam would expect me to say nothing less - our focus now has to be on the players that are fit," said Hayes. "I trust in the squad we have, and we have added to that as well. The focus and the attention has to go on the players that are here."

with AAP

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