England’s Beth Mead hopeful of place in World Cup squad with ACL recovery ‘ahead of schedule’

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England and Arsenal winger Beth Mead on her World Cup hopes: “I wouldn’t say I’m confident because it’s out of my control, but I’m working hard to get as close to it as possible – but at the end of the day, it’s probably going to be Sarina [Wiegman’s] decision”

England winger Beth Mead told Sky Sports she is still hopeful of making the Lionesses World Cup squad and is “ahead of schedule” in her recovery from an ACL injury.

Mead has not played since suffering the season-ending injury in Arsenal’s 3-2 defeat to Manchester United in November last year, and in March England coach Sarina Wiegman said it would be a “miracle” if she recovered in time to travel to this summer’s tournament.


But speaking to Sky Sports after picking up an MBE from Prince William for her player-of-the-tournament role in the Lionesses’ triumphant Euro 2022 victory last year, Mead revealed she was back in training at London Colney and still harboured hopes of boarding the plane to Australia and New Zealand in July.

“The injury’s okay, I’m a good five months in and back on the pitch and kicking a ball again, feeling good, ahead of schedule. That’s all I can do that’s in my control right now,” she said.


“I wouldn’t say I’m confident [of going to the World Cup] because it’s out of my control, but I’m working hard to get as close to it as possible – but at the end of the day, it’s probably going to be Sarina’s decision.”

Speaking at the end of March, Sarina Wiegman said England striker Beth Mead is still rehabbing her ACL injury and would need a ‘miracle’ to be fit in time to play at the tournament.

When asked about the Arsenal winger’s prospects before April’s Finalissima with Brazil, Wiegman said: “I had a conversation with her, she’s doing well, she’s in her rehab, she’s doing good, but the World Cup is actually too early.

“So what we said is she’s not in our plans now, just really take the time to get back well. But if a miracle happens and she goes so fast, then we will reconsider it – but at this moment, I don’t expect that.”

Mead: Williamson will come back stronger

Mead is one of four Arsenal players who have been ruled out by ACL ruptures at the same time, with Vivianne Miedema, Laura Wienroither and England captain Leah Williamson – who will definitely miss this summer’s tournament – also stuck on the treatment table.

With Williamson less than three weeks into her recovery period, Mead said she had offered her sympathies to her club and international team-mate.

Leah Williamson became Arsenal’s latest player to suffer a ruptured ACL last month

She said: “I feel for her, I know the position she’s in and how she’s feeling right now. But myself, my team-mates will support her and hopefully she’ll come back stronger for the next competition.

“For England that’s your captain, it’s your leader, we have lots of those in the team but Leah’s an amazing player and who played a big role in the summer just gone.”

On England’s World Cup chances, entering the tournament as second-favourites behind the USA, the currently holders, she added: “Knowing the squad pretty well, Sarina will take the pressure away from us. It’s a World Cup, you’ve got to go out there and enjoy it and enjoy playing football. It’s what we do for a living, it’s what we all love doing.

“The way she simplifies it, she’ll put us in a good stead and make us feel confident.”

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