FRAN KIRBY says she is ‘absolutely gutted’ to miss the World Cup with a knee problem ending her hopes of being fit for the tournament.
The Lionesses and Chelsea playmaker, 29 will be out of action for ‘a significant period’ in a blow for her club and England’s plans.
Fran Kirby has been ruled out for the rest of this season due to a knee issue
The England and Chelsea forward is set to undergo an operation on her knee
Kirby’s knee upcoming op means she will be unavailable for selection for the Lionesses ahead of the World Cup
She will undergo surgery following a knee problem that arose during the Blues’ 7-0 Conti Cup semis thrashing of West Ham.
It means she will be unavailable for selection before the contest taking place in Australia and New Zealand this summer.
Sarina Wiegman’s side will face Haiti in their group stage opener on July 22.
In a post shared via her Twitter account, Kirby wrote: “Unfortunately after a few months of rehab the decision has been made that I will require surgery on my knee.
“I have been trying my best to not have to undergo this but unfortunately my progress has been limited due to the issue in my knee.
“I’m absolutely gutted to announce that this means my season is over and I will not be able to make the World Cup in the summer.
“I’m going to be doing everything possible to be ready for the start of next season
“I want to wish my team-mates at Chelsea the best of luck for the rest of the season and my Lioness team-mates the best of luck for the summer.”
Chelsea provided the update on Kirby’s situation via a written statement published on their website on Tuesday afternoon.
In their statement, the club, whose WSL team play Liverpool on Wednesday, wrote: “Following an injury sustained during our Continental League Cup semi-final against West Ham, Fran has been reviewed at Cobham by the Chelsea medical team.
“Following that review and further discussion with a specialist, Fran is set to undergo surgery and is expected to be sidelined for a significant period.
“Fran will begin a rehabilitation programme with support from the club’s medical team.
“Everyone at Chelsea sends their best wishes to Fran in her recovery.”
Kirby’s injury sees her join Leah Williamson on the sidelines with the England skipper out of the World Cup following an ACL rupture she suffered during Arsenal’s loss to Man United in April.
The Lionesses are also currently without the services of Beth Mead.
The Euros Golden Boot winner battling her way back from a knee ligament injury sustained last November.
Meanwhile Kirby’s club and country pal Millie Bright is making her way back to fitness following a knee issue.
The Lionesses and Blues vice-skipper was pictured back in the gym in images shared by her club on Monday.
On Wednesday Chelsea will turn their attention to a rescheduled match against Reds and their bid to win a fourth successive title.
Emma Hayes wants her players to keep chipping away at their rivals in their hunt for the double
Emma Hayes sees this as the moment for her team to start hunting down their title rivals in their first WSL game since April 2.
The Blues gaffer said: “There’s a scheduling nightmare but we have got everything to play for.
“Our focus as a team is we have got to keep chipping away and getting points on the board because we’ve got games to make up.”