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2023 Women's World Cup

Mallory Swanson has torn patella tendon in left knee; timeline for return unclear

Dustin Safranek-USA TODAY Sports

United States women’s national team forward Mallory Swanson suffered a torn patella tendon in her left knee in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Ireland, U.S. Soccer announced. The federation did not provide an estimated timeline for Swanson’s return. The U.S. begins its World Cup campaign on July 21.

Swanson went down injured just before halftime on Saturday, immediately grabbing her left leg and calling for the trainer. She was carted off the field with her left leg stabilized on a stretcher. She went straight to the hospital in Austin, Texas, and returned to Chicago for further evaluation on Sunday.

Alyssa Thompson, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League Draft, was called in to replace Swanson ahead of Tuesday’s rematch with Ireland in St. Louis. Thompson made her debut in October against England as a 17-year-old.

Prior to Saturday, Swanson scored seven goals in the United States’ first five matches of the year. She was an MVP finalist in the NWSL in 2022, scoring 11 goals and adding six assists for the Chicago Red Stars.

The extent of Swanson’s injury is yet unknown. According to WebMD, a small tear could require a brace and physical therapy for three to six weeks. Surgery is required for a larger tear, and a full recovery could take six to 12 months.

After Saturday’s game, U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski shared what Swanson said to him as she was carted off: “When she was going off the field, she said, ‘Coach, I’m good. I promise I’ll be good.’ I said, ‘OK, you’re stronger than me.’”

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