BETH MEAD has suffered the cruellest of blows before next year’s World Cup with Arsenal confirming the forward has ruptured her knee ligament.
The Gunners revealed Mead sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage during their 3-2 loss to Manchester United at the Emirates on Saturday.
GettyBeth Mead suffered a knee injury during the second half of Arsenal’s top-tier clash with Man United at the Emirates[/caption]
GettyIt is currently unclear as to how long the Arsenal ace will be sidelined following her ACL injury[/caption]
Mead, 27, was pictured sitting on the pitch and clutching her right leg toward the closing stages of the evening clash.
A timeframe as to how long Mead is expected to be out of action for club and country is yet to be confirmed.
But the Gunners and England will hope the player can make a recovery before next year’s World Cup with the WSL star among the key figures in the national squad.
In a statement published on their website this afternoon, the Gunners said: “Beth is set for an extended period on the sidelines.
“She will see a surgeon in the coming days, after which further details on timescales will be established.
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“Everyone at the club will now be supporting Beth and working hard to get her back on the pitch as soon as possible.”
Mead, who has 50 senior Lionesses caps, played a significant role in England’s charge to European Championship glory
The Lioness finished as the tournament’s joint-top scorer in July following England’s 2-1 defeat of Germany in the final at Wembley.
The Yorkshire-born forward, who won the contest’s Golden Boot after notching up six goals and five assists, finished as the runner-up for this year’s Women’s Ballon d’Or award.
And last October the Gunners ace became the first woman in history to score a hat-trick at Wembley for England during their 4-0 demolition of Northern Ireland.
Mead’s injury absence is another major fitness blow for Arsenal who also have skipper Kim Little out of action due to a knee problem.
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The Gunners are set for a reunion with former boss Joe Montemurro when they play Juventus on Thursday.
In addition to Mead being sidelined the club are also without the services of Lina Hurtig and central defensive duo Leah Williamson and Rafaelle.
News of Mead’s ACL injury was greeted with dismay from Gunners and England fans on social media with many wishing the forward a speedy recovery.
Some of the Arsenal star’s team-mates, who include defender Steph Catley, have posted messages of support for her via their Twitter accounts.