U.S. women’s national team star forward Mallory Swanson has provided an update on her recent patellar tendon tear.
Swanson, who tore the tendon in her left knee during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Ireland, revealed Tuesday that she had a successful surgery that morning.
“This is hard. I’m in shock and don’t have much to say other than, thank you to everyone for the messages. I feel the love and prayers, and holding them close to my heart,” she wrote. “Surgery this morning was a success. I’m thankful for my trainers, doctors, coaches, and teammates for their help throughout this process.
“The beauty out of all of this, is that God is always good. He’s got me and always has.”
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Mallory Pugh Swanson (@malpugh)
A post shared by Mallory Pugh Swanson (@malpugh)
The day proved for both members of the Swanson family, as Mallory’s husband Dansby had to exit the Chicago Cubs’ comeback win over the Seattle Mariners due to exhaustion. He woke up at 4 a.m. Tuesday to accompany Mallory and her mom to the hospital, spending most of the day there before reporting for the game at Wrigley Field.
“Realistically I felt like my body was just kind of done,” he said after the game. “I felt like doing anything more probably would have put me in harm’s way. It felt like the night was over for me, pretty simple. I probably haven’t eaten or slept or drank enough water the past few days, so already getting fluids in me and taking care of myself.”
Still, there is a silver lining for the Swanson family.
“Glad we can be here together — I can’t imagine being apart right now,” Dansby Swanson said. “Everybody knows it’s a pretty tough and heartbreaking situation for her. I’m heartbroken for her. Just a lot of tears and sadness.
“Two things can be true at the same time: It can stink, and we can be sad and upset. We can also understand God’s bigger picture and plans and everything. … It’s just a sad time and we’ll get through it together.”
Of course, surgery to a patellar tendon typically takes around six months to recover, putting Swanson’s status for the World Cup – which begins in three months – in jeopardy.
And for USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski, a player like Swanson will be difficult to replace so soon before the World Cup. The team had been building around both Swanson and Sophia Smith’s attacking power, he says, so now decisions have to be made.
“With losing Mal [Swanson], conceptually we may look slightly different,” he said. “Now with Mal not being there, we’re going to have to make a decision. What are we going to go for? Like for like and try the same way? Or is Mal going to be replaced by a group of players?
“We’re going to change that as we go forward, from game to game. It’s hard for me to answer this question right at this moment but once camp is over and we review it, we hope to have a little better answer or at least a clear understanding of the direction that we want to take.”