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England star Beth Mead could miss World Cup after ACL injury

Beth Mead leaves the field after going down with an injury during Arsenal's match against Manchester United on Nov. 19. (David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal striker Beth Mead ruptured her ACL in a Women’s Super League match against Manchester United on Saturday, the team announced Tuesday.

The 27-year-old, who helped lead the England women’s national team to the Euros title in July, will spend “an extended period on the sidelines” as a result of the injury, per Arsenal’s statement, with the timeline for recovery to come after she sees a surgeon.

An ACL injury typically requires six to nine months of recovery time.

For example, U.S. women’s national team star Catarina Macario tore her ACL while playing for French club Lyon in June. The 23-year-old is expected to return to the USWNT in February, eight months after her injury, coach Vlatko Andonovski said ahead of the team’s November friendlies.

The 2023 World Cup kicks off July 20 in Australia and New Zealand, almost exactly eight months after Mead’s injury.

Mead excelled for the Lionesses at the Euros, which were held in England in July. She won both the Golden Boot and the Player of the Tournament awards.

She also finished as runner-up for the 2022 Ballon d’Or. Spain’s Alexia Putellas won the prestigious award for the second year in a row — though Putellas is recovering from her own ACL tear in the lead-up to the Euros.

A week before Mead’s injury, she made her 50th career appearance for England in a 4-0 win against Japan. She has scored 29 career goals with the Lionesses.

Mead led Arsenal with four assists and also had scored three goals this season before the injury. The Gunners are in second place in the WSL standings after Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Manchester United, trailing only Chelsea.