Beth Mead gives fresh update on ACL recovery ahead of Women's World Cup

Beth Mead spoke at Windsor Castle upon receiving her MBE
Beth Mead spoke at Windsor Castle upon receiving her MBE / WPA Pool/GettyImages

England and Arsenal star Beth Mead has revealed she is ‘ahead of schedule’ in her ACL recovery and says she will continue to do everything she can to be available for the World Cup.

However, the 2022 Ballon d’Or Feminin runner-up is also well aware that she is fighting an uphill battle as the tournament in July and August gets ever closer.

Mead ruptured her ACL, the first of four Arsenal players to cruelly suffer the same injury this season, during a WSL game against Manchester United back in November.

England boss Sarina Wiegman explained in late March that she is not preparing for the World Cup with Mead in mind, suggesting it would take a ‘miracle’ for the 28-year-old to be available.

Mead appeared to somewhat contest that when she stated at the beginning of April: “It’s not given me a solid no, but she hasn’t said yes either. She is preparing for a World Cup without me, but I could still be picked. And miracles do happen. I’ve certainly not given up.”

In the same interview, Mead added that the issue would be revisited in May as Wiegman weighs up her selection decisions. That time is now.

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“The injury is okay. I’m a good five months in now, I am back on the pitch and kicking a ball again, feeling good, ahead of schedule, so that’s all I can do in my control right now,” Mead told Sky Sports on Wednesday during a visit to Windsor Castle to receive her MBE.

In comments to the Press Association, she seemed a little more pessimistic about making it in time.

“It’s starting to be a little bit more normal again but it’s been a long, tough period. I will try my hardest to get as close to [the World Cup] as possible. But it may be a little bit too soon for me this time around,” the player explained.

Which England players will miss the Women’s World Cup through injury?

With Mead unlikely to be available for the 2023 World Cup, which starts on 20 July, she sadly won’t be the only important England player forced to miss the tournament through injury.

Arsenal teammate Leah Williamson also suffered an ACL injury that rules her out of contention, doing the damage in a recent WSL game against Manchester United. The Lionesses skipper is not expected to play again until 2024 while she recovers.

Chelsea’s Fran Kirby, another starter from the side that Euro 2022, has been ruled out too. The 29-year-old has hardly featured for her club so far this calendar year due to an ongoing knee problem, with a decision made earlier this month that it required surgery to treat.

Millie Bright and Lucy Bronze are two other key England players to have been nursing injuries in recent weeks, but are expected to recover in time for the World Cup as things stand.