Football Fern Rebekah Stott is recovering from ankle surgery and will be forced to delay her return to England’s Women’s Super League.
In a tweet to followers, the 29-year-old defender says she is “absolutely shattered” after the reconstruction operation last Friday (September 16).
“I’m incredibly grateful to be surrounded by the best people possible to bounce back even stronger,” she said.
“I know it won’t be as soon as I desperately wanted but I’m well into my rehab and I can’t wait to get back to doing what I love.
“I appreciate all the love and support from my family, friends, team-mates and my club over the past month. I’ll be back.”
Stott signed a two-year deal with WSL club Brighton in time for the club’s pre-season campaign, after leaving A-League club Melbourne City.
Last December, she made her return to football after undergoing four months of chemotherapy treatment to treat her stage three Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
She announced she was in remission in July 2021.
Stott’s absence is frustrating for her and Brighton who were beaten 4-0 by Arsenal in their season opener on Friday.
Injuries forced manager Hope Powell to name only five substitutes, including a goalkeeper and two young players who have yet to play for the first team.
Brighton play Reading on Sunday.
Stott was unavailable for selection to the Football Ferns for their two international friendlies in Los Angeles this month.
Before Friday’s surgery, Ferns head coach Jitka Klimková said she would be “more than happy” if Stott was ready to return to play in November but she was planning on her being unavailable for the rest of 2022.
The Ferns play Japan on October 9 and are expected to have two more friendlies during the November 7-15 international window.
Klimková has a number of options for her central defender roles including Claudia Bunge, Meikayla Moore and Junior Ferns captain Kate Taylor.