Alex Morgan will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks because of a left ankle sprain and will miss the remainder of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
Morgan reinjured her left ankle in a group-stage victory over Guatemala on Friday night, just four months after returning to action following a long layoff.
An MRI on Saturday confirmed the sprain.
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Morgan, who has 49 goals in 77 international appearances, first hurt the ankle during training late last October and missed nine games with her club team, the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League.
The United States leads its group at the CONCACAF championship with 2-0 record and faces Haiti on Monday at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The top three finishers in the tournament earn a spot in next year’s World Cup.
Morgan will return home to rehab the injury. The U.S. team cannot add a player to its CONCACAF roster, so the team will play out the tournament with 19 players.
”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 in a statement released by the team. ”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.”
Morgan was injured in a collision with Guatemala defender Londy Barrios in the 37th minute of Friday night’s 5-0 victory. She was replaced by Christen Press.
The United States opened the tournament with an unimpressive 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago.
The top two teams in each of two groups advance to the semifinals Oct. 24 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The championship is scheduled two days later at PPL Park.
”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,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said.