Arsenal and England midfielder Jordan Nobbs has been ruled out of the 2019 World Cup after undergoing surgery on her anterior cruciate ligament.
Nobbs suffered the injury to her left knee during Arsenal’s 4-0 victory over Everton on November 18, and the Gunners confirmed the news in a statement on the club’s official website on Friday morning.
England head coach Phil Neville said: “We are all wishing Jordan a speedy recovery and will be supporting her every step of the way throughout her rehabilitation process.
“She is an invaluable member of the Lionesses squad and played a huge part in helping us secure our place at next summer’s Women’s World Cup finals in France.”
Neville, quoted on the Football Association website, added: “Naturally we are disappointed that a player of Jordan’s ability and importance will not be able to take part in the World Cup.
“But the priority is that she returns to full fitness and can look forward to many exciting years ahead playing for both her club and country.”
Arsenal said Nobbs “underwent a successful operation on Monday to repair an ACL rupture”, and would start her recovery process “with the support of specialist care”.
No time frame was given for Nobbs’ rehabilitation, although the club said “sadly her injury rules her out of the Women’s World Cup next summer”.
Nobbs had posted an update on her Twitter account with a “thumbs up” picture from hospital. The Arsenal player said: “Back on the road to recovery 👊🏻 Everyone has been indescribable ❤️ Tough times ahead, but I can’t thank you all enough for the support”.
England head into the 2019 tournament in France, which starts on June 7, as one of the favourites, but the loss of vice-captain Nobbs will be a blow.
The Lionesses impressed in an unbeaten qualifying campaign and will be looking to improve on a third-place finish at the 2015 World Cup in Canada.
As part of the build-up, England Women will take on Brazil, Japan and World Cup holders the United States in the SheBelieves Cup during February and early March 2019.