United States attacking midfielder Catarina Macario will not take part in this year’s Women’s World Cup, the Lyon player said on Tuesday as she continues her recovery from a torn ACL.
The 23-year-old was part of the US team that won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 but she has been sidelined since suffering the ACL injury in Lyon’s final league match of the 2021-2022 season.
“The desire to return to play for my club and country has driven my training and fueled my everyday life,” Macario said in a post on Twitter. “However, what’s most important right now is my health and getting fit and ready for my next club season.”
Macario is one of the four-time world champions’ brightest prospects, and is expected to sign for Chelsea, but her fitness for the finals had been the subject of speculation for months.
The 30-year-old Sam Mewis, a key figure in the centre of the U.S. midfield, announced in January that she would be out indefinitely after knee surgery as fellow veteran Julie Ertz made a surprise return to the side after an extended absence.
“I’ll be cheering hard for my team mates at the World Cup, and I look forward to dedicating myself to fighting to earn a spot for what I hope will be a long future on the US national team,” said Macario.
Macario joins a growing list of top players who will miss the World Cup, with England captain Leah Williamson, Spain’s Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas and France striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto all out of the tournament with ACL injuries.
Canada’s Olympic gold medallist Janine Beckie told Reuters last month that more research was needed to tackle the injury crisis, after tearing her ACL in the run-up to the World Cup, which kicks off in Australia and New Zealand on July 20.