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Unfortunately, it is probable that Chelsea’s captain Millie Bright will be absent for their upcoming Women’s Champions League game against Paris FC at Stamford Bridge this Thursday.
The coach of the Blues, Emma Hayes, announced that Bright is dealing with a knee injury. While it is not a major concern, Hayes stated that the 30-year-old may not be able to participate in the upcoming Nations League matches against the Netherlands and Scotland in early December, potentially impacting her spot on Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses team.
Before the beginning of the Women’s Super League season, Bright underwent knee surgery before the 2019 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Despite this, she was able to lead England to a second-place finish as captain. Upon her return, she resumed pre-season training at Cobham.
The player who replaced Magdalena Eriksson as captain for Chelsea in the new WSL season was a defender. They appeared in all seven games as England placed second to Spain, despite not having played a competitive match for their club or country since March.
Hayes stated that due to the high number of games scheduled closely together, they are carefully managing the players’ workload. They intended to allow one player more time to rest, but it is uncertain if she will be able to participate on Thursday.
Before the World Cup, she underwent a knee surgery which impacted her preparation for the tournament. She pushed herself to return quickly.
“She has returned to the Chelsea season and settled in quickly, indicating that she may have needed more time. Currently, her knee is experiencing some discomfort. However, it is not a major issue and we are monitoring her body’s signals.”
There is a high chance of not being able to watch the Lionesses’ games.
Hayes has not made a decision on whether she will be traveling to the United States during the international break. This comes after the recent announcement that she will be stepping down as Chelsea coach in May to take over as the US national team coach.
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 their European campaign against Paris, following last week’s controversial 2-2 draw with Real Madrid.
“I am focused on my own team, not the US players,” stated Hayes. “The full-time team that is currently in charge is responsible for that. My involvement with US Soccer does not begin until May.”
“Since becoming the coach, I have engaged in discussions with various individuals. There are currently full-time staff members in the US and I plan to join them in May. Whenever the chance presents itself, I will continue these conversations. However, my main priority is on Chelsea.”
During her 12 years with the club, Striker Sam Kerr commended her manager’s influence.
“She expressed her disappointment about Hayes leaving, stating that Emma is an exceptional coach and leader who has been a long-standing member of the team. However, this is the nature of football.”
“Chelsea has been fortunate to have her as their manager for such a long time. However, in the world of football, we are accustomed to these situations of managers departing. We all send our well wishes to her for her future with the US.”
Hayes interrupted and asked, “Do you actually mean that?”
Kerr, an international player from Australia, responded with a negative answer.