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Ellis says recovering Morgan nearing full strength

Alex Morgan hasn't played since injuring her left ankle on Oct. 17. (USA Today Images)

Alex Morgan hasn’t played since injuring her left ankle on Oct. 17. (USA Today Images)

Alex Morgan was “fully integrated” into the United States women’s national team’s January training camp, according to coach Jill Ellis.

Morgan has not played since spraining her left ankle on Oct. 17 against Guatemala in World Cup qualifying and she was initially diagnosed as being out 4-6 weeks. It was the same ankle that she injured late in 2013. That was initially diagnosed as a sprain but turned into a stress reaction that kept her out for the first half of 2014.

Morgan joined the U.S. for its December training camp in Brazil, but did not play in any of the four games. She also participated in this month’s training camp in Carson, Calif. Ellis says that Morgan is fully fit, but she is still sharpening her game.

“The final piece is finishing,” Ellis said on Monday. “We’ve spent a lot of time on technical work with her, because she has been off the field for quite a while. So she’s coming along great, we’re very excited with where she is.”

[MORE: Morgan rings in New Year with wedding  |  Appears on TV]

The United States plays France away on Feb. 8 before traveling to England to play the host country on Feb. 13.

Despite being sidelined for the majority of the last year, Morgan’s spirits are up, according to Ellis.

“She’s been great,” Ellis said. “Taking her to Brazil, even though we knew we weren’t going to play her in games, we knew we could have her in the environment and obviously work with her to get back. She was fantastic down there, both on and off the pitch. She was good. She understood why she was there and took advantage of the time with coaches and technical work.

“In this camp I think she is just truly happy to be back out on the field and playing in non-contact and playing in 11-a-side. We did a lot of playing in 11-a-side environments out there and she did a lot of playing, so we are very happy.”


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