Australia’s team captain, Sam Kerr, has announced that she is fully recuperated from her calf injury and is eager to participate in the upcoming match against England on Wednesday.
The Chelsea striker sustained the injury right before the commencement of the tournament, leading her to miss the entire group stage of the Women’s World Cup.
In the previous round of 16 match, Kerr made a brief 10-minute appearance, gradually increasing her involvement as she played an additional 30 minutes along with extra time during her team’s dramatic penalty shootout victory over France on Saturday.
Despite the possibility of starting against France, Kerr affirms that her recovery strategy was always aimed at being fit for the semi-finals.
The 29-year-old acknowledges that it has been challenging for her to play a reduced role thus far.
Kerr reflects on the plan that was in place following her calf injury, explaining, “When I hurt my calf, the plan was always to be ready for a semi-final, the final.”
She acknowledges her team’s strong performance, noting, “So, I could have [started against France], but who knows what could have happened? The girls have been smashing it and absolutely dominating.”
The captain emphasizes the importance of adhering to the tournament-long plan that was established.
This plan included getting 20 minutes of playtime against Denmark in the last 16 match to facilitate her recovery and better prepare her for the subsequent games.
Now, having accumulated approximately 65 minutes of playing time, Kerr expresses her readiness for the upcoming match, stating, “I feel better for it and I’ll have more training under my belt.
So, I feel ready to go.”
Kerr’s perspective on her role has evolved during this period of injury recovery and reduced playing time.
She shares, “I just had to regain that focus that I probably haven’t had the last two weeks because I haven’t been playing as much, and think of what my role is really for.”
Grateful for the opportunity to return to the pitch, she asserts her determination, saying, “I knew that I would come back on the pitch, because I would have played with one calf if I had to, but I think the plan has gone pretty well.”