Megan Rapinoe says she doesn’t expect to be ready for the opening match of the Rio 2016 Olympics on August 3 against New Zealand.
The United States women’s national team midfielder hasn’t played a competitive match since Oct. 25 after tearing the ACL in her right knee on Dec. 4. But earlier this month she was named to Jill Ellis’ 18-player roster for the Olympics after returning to full-contact training — only to be set back by a pulled calf.
So Rapinoe isn’t expecting to play in the United States’ opening match next week.
“No, I don’t think that’s my expectation,” Rapinoe told Goal.com. “Looking maybe toward the end of the group stage and then looking into the knockout stage would be more of a realistic time for me, and I think [Ellis] feels the same way.”
The news isn’t anything especially new — Ellis spoke about “building” Rapinoe’s minutes, much like she eased Alex Morgan, then dealing with a more minor knee injury, into the 2015 World Cup — but it is concerning for U.S. fans to hear. The Olympic roster features only 18 players as opposed to 23 at the World Cup, increasing the necessity for coaches to use their entire benches.
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