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Sam Kerr’s injury status uncertain amid conflicting reports

Sam Kerr walks with trainers at Australia's team training at the World Cup on Monday. (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The extent of Sam Kerr’s injury drew renewed concerns on Monday after conflicting messages from the Australian women’s national team at the World Cup. Kerr, Australia’s superstar forward, is currently sidelined with a calf injury sustained in training last week.

Asked about Kerr during a press conference with local media, Australian midfielder Kyra Cooney-Cross suggested the 29-year-old suffered a more serious injury than had previously been reported.

“It’s unfortunate that Sam tore her calf before the game,” Cooney-Cross said, according to a local ABC broadcast.

An Australia team spokesperson later clarified to ABC reporter Jessica Stewart that Cooney-Cross’ description of Kerr’s injury was incorrect. An edited video of Cooney-Cross’ press conference published on the Matildas’ website also removed the comment in question.

Kerr was originally ruled out of Australia’s first two World Cup group stage games for what she and Football Australia referred to as a “calf injury.”

“Unfortunately I sustained a calf injury yesterday in training,” she wrote in a statement on Instagram. “I wanted to share this with everyone so there is no distraction from us doing what we came here to achieve. Of course, I would have loved to have been out there tonight but I can’t wait to be apart of this amazing journey which starts now.”

Football Australia said the team’s medical staff would reassess Kerr after the second group stage game against Nigeria on Thursday. Australia won their World Cup opener 1-0 over Ireland on Thursday.

Kerr watched Matildas training on Monday while wearing a compression wrap around her left calf. Australia’s all-time leading international scorer was expected to play a key role for the host country at the 2023 World Cup, and her status for the rest of the tournament remains unclear.