Lyon superstar Ada Hegerberg could make her first appearance in nearly two years this week after finally completing the long road to recovery from an ACL injury suffered in January 2020.
More than 20 months since her last game, Hegerberg has been named in Lyon’s squad for Tuesday night’s Women’s Champions League clash with Swedish club BK Hacken.
‘Hello everyone’, she tweeted in response to Lyon announcing the 21-player travelling party.
Even if Hegerberg doesn’t get on the pitch on Sweden, it represents a huge step forward after an enormously frustrating extended period on the sidelines.
The 26-year-old has undergone three operations since suffering the initial ACL injury in a training session. But she was at last able to get back to training towards the end of last month and has been building up her fitness in preparation for a return to the pitch.
Hegerberg had become an international household name prior to her injury, famed for a prolific scoring record that made her the best female player in the world.
She scored more than a goal per game for Lyon in three seasons out of four between 2014 and 2018 and was crucial to the club’s Champions League dominance. The Norwegian then became the first ever recipient of the Ballon d’Or Feminin in 2018 and scored a hat-trick in the first half hour of the 2019 Champions League as Lyon, at the peak of their powers, demolished Barcelona.
Hegerberg is the all-time top goalscorer in Women’s Champions League history. She was also thought to be the highest paid female player in the world in 2019 and is still believed to be the top earning star in Europe even now.
Her absence from playing has pushed her into the shadows as others have taken on her mantle, but she will be determined to get back to the world class level she was once at.