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It is probable that Millie Bright, captain of Chelsea, will not be able to participate in her team’s Women’s Champions League match against Paris FC at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.
Blues manager Emma Hayes confirmed Bright has a knee problem and, although it is not a serious issue, said the 30-year-old will also be a doubt for Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses squad for the upcoming Nations League games against the Netherlands and Scotland in the first week of December.
Before the 2019 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Bright underwent knee surgery. Despite this, she led England to a second-place finish as captain. Upon returning to Cobham for pre-season training, she prepared for the Women’s Super League season.
The Chelsea defender, who replaced Magdalena Eriksson as captain for the new WSL season, played in all seven matches as England came in second place behind Spain. This was their first competitive game for both club and country since March.
Hayes stated that due to the large number of games occurring in a short time period, they are carefully monitoring their workload. They had originally planned to allow for some extra time, but it is uncertain if the player will be able to participate on Thursday.
Before the World Cup, she underwent knee surgery, which affected her preparation for the tournament. She hurried her return.
“She has returned to the Chelsea season and seems to have adapted quickly. It is possible that she needed more time to fully recover. Currently, her knee is experiencing some discomfort. However, it is not a serious issue and we are monitoring her body and its signals.”
It’s very likely that I will miss the Lionesses’ games.
Hayes said she is yet to decide whether she will travel to the United States during the international break, following the announcement last week that she is to take over the US national team after standing down as Chelsea coach in May.
However, she restated her position that she will continue to support the club in their pursuit of a fifth consecutive WSL title and their first Champions League victory.
The team is aiming to secure their first victory in the European competition when they face Paris, after a contentious 2-2 draw with Real Madrid last week.
“I am not focused on the US players, I am focused on my own team,” stated Hayes. “The responsibility for monitoring them falls on the full-time team that is already in charge. My official duties for US Soccer do not begin until May.”
“I have had discussions with individuals since taking on the role of coach. There are currently full-time staff members in the US, and I will also be there in May. When the chance presents itself, I will engage in further conversations. However, my main priority at the moment is on Chelsea.”
Sam Kerr, the striker, commended her manager’s influence on the team throughout the 12 years that he has been in charge.
“It’s definitely unfortunate,” she expressed regarding Hayes’ leaving. “Emma is an excellent coach and leader, and she’s been a part of this team for a significant amount of time. However, that is the nature of the sport.”
“Chelsea are very lucky that they’ve had her for as long as they have, but most of us in football are used to these things (managers leaving). We all wish her all the best (with the US).”
Hayes interrupted: “Are you asking if that is what you meant?”
Kerr, the international player from Australia, stated “No.”