Midfielder Annalie Longo has been forced to withdraw from the Football Ferns squad after scans have confirmed a serious knee injury.
The 31-year-old Fern left the field injured during the first half of Saturday’s 1-0 win against Mexico, played in Los Angeles.
Scans have since shown she has torn the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) in her left knee.
She is returning to New Zealand to begin her rehabilitation, leaving the Ferns squad ahead of their friendly international against the Philippines on Wednesday (NZT).
Ford Football Ferns head coach Jitka Klimková told the NZ Football website:
“We’re heartbroken for Annalie, who is such an important member of our whānau.
“Football can be brutal, and this is one of those times. We will do everything we can to support Annalie in her recovery.”
Longo has played 127 full internationals for New Zealand.
ACL: An anterior cruciate ligament injury is a tear or sprain of one of the strong bands of tissue that helps connect the thigh bone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia).
MCL: A medial collateral ligament injury is a stretch, partial tear, or complete tear of the ligament on the inside of the knee. It is one of the most common knee injuries and results mostly from a valgus force on the knee.
New Zealand v Philippines
Wednesday September 7, 2022, 12pm (NZT)
Titan Stadium, Cal State Fullerton, California