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‘Devastated’ Matildas star describes sport as ‘so cruel’ – FTBL

Matildas forward Kyah Simon is optimistic she won’t miss a second consecutive World Cup and her first on home soil due to injury despite a cruciate ligament rupture.

The Tottenham striker’s knee injury, which was confirmed by her Super League club on Tuesday night (AEST), has ruled her out of Saturday’s and next Wednesday’s friendlies against South Africa and Denmark respectively.

The setback, Simon’s second cruciate ligament tear of his career after previously suffering the injury in October 2013, comes ahead of the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand from July.

The nine-month deadline leaves the door slightly open for the crucial attacker to return, but she will face an uphill battle to be both fit and in shape in time for selection.

“I feared the worst and was devastated to have torn my cruciate ligament in Sunday’s game,” Simon tweeted.

“Sport can be so cruel sometimes, I will do everything to be back as soon as possible.”

Surgery is imminent and a spokesman for Matildas said Simon will still be “working towards the 2023 Women’s World Cup”.

If the 31-year-old fails to regain full fitness in time for the tournament, it will be a severe blow to Australia’s attacking baton.

Simon was Australia’s top scorer at the 2011 and 2015 World Cups but missed the 2019 tournament through injury.

She underwent ankle surgery in December ahead of the 2019 tournament, but then injured her thigh muscles.

Then-coach Ante Milicic overlooked Simon for his 2019 squad in favor of a 16-year-old Mary Fowler due to lack of playing time.

Matilda’s captain Sam Kerr took to social media to urge her teammate to “come back stronger than ever”.

Simon has scored 29 goals in 111 games for Australia since her debut in 2007 and played in the A-League Women, USA and Netherlands before moving to England.

She was due back in London to face South Africa after suffering a separate injury after missing consecutive defeats by Canada in Australia last month.

Simon was one of four Matildas ruled out of this week’s friendlies.

Emily van Egmond (square strain), Tameka Yallop (ankle) and Clare Wheeler (knee) were also withdrawn from the squad due to club-level injuries.

Forward Remy Siemsen and defenders Emma Checker and Matilda McNamara will replace them.

Fellow Matilda Ellie Carpenter is still recovering from tearing her cruciate ligament in May’s Champions League final, while midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight is back at club level in Sweden after a horrendous series of knee problems.

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