Sam Kerr in brutal development amid the Matildas' Paris Olympics qualification

The Matildas star's father confirmed she will miss the Paris 2024 Games.

Pictured Sam Kerr
Sam Kerr's father confirmed she will miss the Paris Olympics. Image: Getty

Matildas captain Sam Kerr has been ruled out of the Paris Olympics by her father Roger. The 30-year-old heartbreakingly ruptured her ACL during Chelsea's mid-season camp in Morocco in January and she has been on the road to recovery ever since, hanging onto the slim hope that she may be cleared in time for the 2024 Olympics.

On Wednesday night, the Aussies booked their place in Paris with a mammoth 10-0 win over Uzbekistan in front of a packed Marvel Stadium. But in a brutal blow to their Olympic aspirations, Kerr's father says the star striker won't be fit for the Games in five months time.

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Kerr continues her rehabilitation at Chelsea and her father says the forward has her sights set on returning for the start of the 2024/25 Women's Premier League season. "Yeah, definitely out of the Olympics," Roger Kerr told ABC Radio on Friday. "So she'll miss that and be ready for the start of Chelsea's new season."

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Sam Kerr of Australia leaves the pitch after sustaining an injury during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Third Place Match match between Sweden and Australia at Brisbane Stadium on August 19, 2023 in Brisbane / Meaanjin, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Sam Kerr ruptured her ACL during Chelsea's mid-season camp in Morocco in January. Image: Getty

Kerr's father says she is devastated that she won't be part of the Matildas bid to break their Olympic medal drought but believes Australia can still bring home a medal without her. "Naturally everything will be very disappointing, but it's usually the life of a sportsman, your best player goes down," Kerr said.

"But it's (Olympic Games) a real good thing for the Matildas, they've developed really well. Sam's part of the team but it's the whole team and it's a very successful team at the moment, so hopefully they bring home a medal."

Michelle Heyman stars as Sam Kerr's replacement

Heading into the clash against Uzbekistan many questioned whether the Matildas could do it without their superstar striker. Some pundits even suggested the Aussies would struggle to beat Uzbekistan, and might not even qualify for the Games.

But Kerr's replacement, veteran Michelle Heyman, was near unstoppable on Wednesday night. The striker was superb in her first call-up to the national team since 2018, scoring four goals in Melbourne after also finding the back of the net in the first leg in Uzbekistan on Saturday - a 3-0 win.

Following her successful return to the Matildas side, the veteran has vowed to produce much of the same against some of the biggest teams in international football. "That's going to be the biggest challenge, to see where I'm at compared to the best," Heyman said after the 10-0 win on Wednesday night.

"Coming out there, I knew what Uzbekistan could bring and knew exactly what I had to do to be successful. I do believe in my ability and know how hard I've been pushing myself to get here and I won't be stopping. I'm going to continue to push even harder for Canberra United and just keep working on my fitness, speed and do everything I can do to be one of those 16 outfield players who go to Paris."

Heyman has made her doubters eat their words and has emphatically answered questions about what the Matildas can do without Kerr. "We're very similar in certain ways, but I play my own game as well and I think I can bring some things that are quite different to what Sam brings as well," she said.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 28: Michelle Heyman of the Matildas celebrates a goal during the AFC Women's Olympic Football Tournament Paris 2024 Asian Qualifier Round 3 match between Australia Matildas and Uzbekistan at Marvel Stadium on February 28, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Michelle Heyman was superb in her first call-up to the national team since 2018, scoring four goals in Melbourne's 10-0 win and also found the back of the net in the first leg in Uzbekistan on Saturday - a 3-0 win. Image: Getty

"It's been a very emotional roller coaster. I've been pushing so hard to try and get back into this squad. And as soon as I got the email to say that 'you're back in', I'm not letting it go.

"A lot of people told me that I couldn't do it and 'you're too old.' So it's really nice to be able to show people that it doesn't matter how old you are. You can just get out there if you love the game and you push yourself you can achieve anything."

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