Female footballers are up to six times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than male footballers. This has been apparent across women’s football over the last year, with two lionesses out of the World Cup due to ruptured ACL’s.
The two lionesses out of the World Cup in July is Beth Mead and Leah Williamson, with Leah’s ACL rupture being very recent. The England captain came off just after 12 minutes in their WSL match against Manchester United last Wednesday night. After twisting her knee and having an awful landing, she managed to limp off without a stretcher. Williamson is currently awaiting surgery and has had to pull out of the World Cup in July.
Beth Mead has been out since November, after also suffering a ruptured ACL against Manchester United. She has had a long recovery after surgery but is hoping to make her return for England at the World Cup this Summer. The Lionesses coach, Sarina Wiegman, is positive her rehab will be over in time for the World Cup, however her fitness is still uncertain.
It is worrying a time for Arsenal at the moment with three of their starting players out with a torn ACL; Williamson, Mead and Netherlands' star Vivianne Miedema. The 26-year-old underwent surgery after rupturing her ACL during Arsenal's 1-0 Champions League group-stage defeat to Lyon. She stated that she has 'no hopes' of being fit for Women's World Cup.
Another football star set to miss out on the Summer World cup is Angel City forward and American international, Christen Press. She has attained three knee surgeries in eight months and is set to be out for a while. She ruptured her ACL in June 2022, and it has slowly deteriorated ever since. Press her stated that she is not optimistic for her footballing future.
The final female footballer that has suffered a severe ACL injury is Alexia Putellas. The two-time Ballon D’or winner was ruled out of the 2022 Euro’s after sustaining an ACL injury. She was supposed to return for Barcelona against Chelsea in the Champions League semi first leg, however she is not fully fit yet. Barcelona are still unaware when she can make her return.
It is worrying how many female footballers have suffered with ACL injuries and how many careers it has ended. Hopefully a solution will be found soon to help resolve this major problem in women’s football.