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Optimism that Walsh avoids ACL injury at World Cup – sources

SYDNEY — There is optimism that England midfielder Keira Walsh has avoided an ACL injury but is still a major doubt for the rest of the Women’s World Cup, sources have told ESPN.

Walsh injured her right knee in England’s 1-0 win over Denmark in Sydney on Friday.

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The incident occurred in the 35th minute as she stretched for a pass. Walsh’s right knee buckled under her, and she immediately signalled to the bench for help. She was soon stretchered off and later seen on England’s bench in the second-half with a knee brace and crutches.

Sources have told ESPN the early signs are that Walsh has not suffered an ACL injury. The news was first reported by the Telegraph.

Walsh is regarded as one of the world’s best players, and her transfer last summer from Manchester City to Barcelona is still a world-record transfer.

Walsh formed the key midfield partnership with Georgia Stanway which guided England to the Euros win last summer, and with England already battling a lengthy injury list with Leah Williamson, Beth Mead and Fran Kirby all injured, Walsh’s injury is a further setback.

Sarina Wiegman has a selection headache heading forward, with England playing China in Adelaide on Tuesday. Stanway is on a yellow card, meaning if she picks up one on Tuesday then she will miss the round of 16 match.

Wiegman turned to Laura Coombs to replace Walsh on Saturday, moving Stanway back into Walsh’s No. 6 role. But there are other options in the team with Jordan Nobbs and Katie Zelem other potential candidates to start in Walsh’s place.

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