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USWNT’s Sam Mewis not expected to play in 2023 NWSL season

Sam Mewis has been sidelined since the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. (Howard Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Count this injury update from the Kansas City Current as disappointing but not surprising: Sam Mewis is not expected to play in the 2023 NWSL season.

The 30-year-old midfielder underwent knee surgery in January. She has been dealing with a nagging injury since August 2021, when she played in the Tokyo Olympics with the U.S. women’s national team.

“I don’t have a timeline for return to soccer,” she said in January.

The Current do not expect to see Mewis in their lineup in the upcoming season, the team indicated in a roster update Tuesday.

After the USWNT’s bronze-medal game against Australia at the Tokyo Games, Mewis underwent arthroscopic surgery on her right knee. She was traded to Kansas City in late 2021 and made two appearances for the Current at the Challenge Cup in March 2022, but she has not played in any matches since then.

The Current bought out the midfielder’s previous contract and signed her to a new deal through the 2023 season, the team announced after her latest surgery. During the upcoming season, Mewis will be “focused on her recovery and future” as she works her way back “from her progressive injury to her right leg,” the team said in its news release.

“I’ll be starting my rehab at home where my family can support me,” Mewis wrote in a statement posted to her Twitter account. “I gave everything I had after my last procedure in 2021. This has been a really difficult time for me personally and I’ve been devastated to be away from soccer for so long.”

The latest update from the Current also hammers home her all but certain absence from the USWNT lineup for the 2023 World Cup.

“At this point I don’t want to guess what the time is or if she is going to be back at all,” USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski said ahead of the team’s two January friendlies against New Zealand. “With Sam, it’s a long-term injury and at this point, you know, we probably would not go into details for that.”