Canadian women’s national team midfielder Diana Matheson will not play in the National Women’s Soccer League this season after retearing a previously-repaired knee injury.
Matheson, 32, was one of the big name trades in the professional women’s league this off-season, when she moved from longtime team Washington Spirit to the Seattle Reign, who announced the extent of the injury on Tuesday.
“Earlier this month an MRI revealed I had retorn my previously repaired (anterior cruciate ligament),” Matheson said in a release. “After careful consideration and consultations with doctors and staff, I’m moving ahead with surgery to repair it.
The injury occurred while Matheson was on national team duty with Canada last month. She was left out of the Canadian squad currently in Portugal for the Algarve Cup because of it, but the severity of the injury was not announced at the time.
“It’s obviously disappointing to be off the field for both Canada and Seattle for this upcoming season, but this will hopefully give me the best chance to be back to where I want to be for both club and country looking ahead to next season, and onwards towards 2019 and 2020,” she said.
Matheson first injured her left ACL in October 2014 when it snapped during a friendly against then-defending World Cup champions Japan.
“It looked like nothing. I planted on my left, I heard a pop — I knew right away it was an ACL. You hear it all the time how it happens ... and then it hurt,” she told the Star in December 2014. “Right after it happened, I was doing some quick mental arithmetic on the bench in my head, how much time to go.”
That injury threatened to keep Matheson from the Women’s World Cup on home soil in 2015.
That wasn’t the first time a long-term injury risked Matheson’s spot at a major tournament; in November 2011 a routine procedure on her right knee discovered a more exacting procedure was necessary. The anticipated recovery period — up to a year — meant the Oakville native might miss the London 2012 Olympics.
But Matheson beat that deadline by months and went on to score an injury-time goal that won Canada the bronze-medal game.
She wasn’t so lucky three years later. Matheson broke her foot while recovering from that first ACL injury in 2014 and only managed 28 minutes of play during Canada’s World Cup campaign the following summer.
This time, Matheson has some breathing room while recovering from the ACL tear, which typically takes about six months to heal. The next Women’s World Cup isn’t until 2019 and the summer games don’t come around again until 2020.
Internationally, that is. Seattle’s not so lucky.
“I’m so disappointed for Diana —when she told me, my heart sank for her,” Seattle Reign head coach and general manager Laura Harvey said in a statement.
Matheson has made 191 appearances for the Canadian team, scoring 17 times and tallying 20 assists. Canada begins this year’s Algarve Cup campaign with a match against Denmark on Wednesday.
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