Ann-Katrin Berger returns to Chelsea after cancer diagnosis

Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger during the Barclays Women's Super League match at Kingsmeadow Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday September 25, 2022. (Photo by Tim Goode/PA Images via Getty Images)

Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger appeared in the Blues’ starting lineup for the first time since announcing that her thyroid cancer had returned in August.

Berger helped Chelsea to a 2-0 win over Manchester City Sunday, logging five saves to secure the clean sheet.

The star goalkeeper revealed her cancer diagnosis in a statement posted to social media on Aug. 23.

“I wanted to update fans directly that unfortunately, after four years of living cancer-free, there has been a recurrence detected in my thyroid,” Berger said.

“I’ve said before that as a sportsperson you have to fight every day to be the best you can be and that’s something I will continue to do and I hope by sharing my journey, I can help others that find themselves in a similar situation.”

Berger was first diagnosed in 2017 while playing for Birmingham City but recovered within four months.

The 31-year-old is also the goalkeeper for the German national team, making headlines when she and her girlfriend, England’s Jess Carter, played against one another in this summer’s Euro final.

“She is in a really, really good place now and the doctors being all very positive,” Carter, a star Chelsea defender, said of Berger. “I think she will be back to her best in no time.”

Berger received an outpouring of support after initially revealing her thyroid cancer resurgence, with Chelsea teammate Sam Kerr Tweeting her support, writing, “We are all with you.”

USWNT midfielder Lindsey Horan, who played with Berger for Paris Saint-Germain from 2014 to 2016, Tweeted, “We are all with you Ann. Thinking of you my friend.”

Berger’s Sunday shutout helped Chelsea to its first points of the season after dropping their opener against Liverpool.