USA star foward Alex Morgan will miss 4-6 weeks with a left ankle sprain, meaning the national team will be without her services for the remainder of the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament.
Morgan’s MRI on Saturday morning confirmed that she sprained her left ankle in the USA’s 5-0 win over Guatemala, but there was no further damage. The news that it is nothing more than a sprain will come as a relief to Morgan and U.S. Soccer, as this was the same left ankle which kept her sidelined for seven months earlier this year.
"It’s unfortunate timing, but I know my teammates will take care of business and qualify for the World Cup and I’ll be watching from my couch," Morgan said. "I have plenty of time to get healthy with a longer break coming up for the team, so my job is to focus on the rehab and get back healthy as soon as I can."
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She will leave camp and go home to rehabilitate the injury.
Morgan has 49 goals in 77 matches for the USA, including five goals in seven games in 2014. She also had started the USA’s first two games of the Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament before leaving Friday night’s match in the first half. Christen Press replaced her.
"We certainly feel for Alex and of course having her go down is a big loss to our team. But as I’ve often said, one of our strengths is depth and everyone on the roster is prepared to step up," said USA head coach Jill Ellis. "After talking with our medical staff and Alex, we all agreed that the best course of action for her is to head home to minimize travel and get into an environment where she can totally focus on recovery."
Once the tournament has begun, national teams can’t make roster changes because of injuries, so the USA will play the rest of the tournament with 19 players.