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Orlando Pride midfielder Marta suffers knee ligament injury

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Orlando Pride midfielder Marta announced via Instagram that she “suffered a knee ligament injury” in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Courage that will require surgery.

“Unfortunately, I will be out of the field for a while,” she wrote. “This will be another chapter of my story and I’m sure I’ll come out of it stronger!! Now it’s time to focus on my recovery to get back to doing what I love most, representing my country, my people and my team.”

The initial injury appeared to have happened in the 19th minute when she jumped to pull down a long ball. Contact with North Carolina’s Denise O’Sullivan caused Marta to plant her left leg awkwardly as she landed. She walked off the field under her own power and re-entered the match in the 22nd minute before falling awkwardly again in the 29th minute and exiting for the rest of the game.

Marta had been named captain of the team for the season after the Pride lost many veteran pieces in the offseason. Alongside Sydney Leroux and Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir, the midfielder had been tabbed as an important presence both on the field and in the locker room.

It’s also a big blow to the Brazilian national team, who will be looking to continue their journey to qualify for the 2023 World Cup at this summer’s Copa América Femenina. Three teams advance directly from the tournament to the next stage of qualifiers while two other teams will head to the play-in tournament.

The Pride have a draw and a loss through two games of the Challenge Cup. They next play at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday against Gotham FC.