After missing almost the whole of 2017 with a horror injury, Westfield Matildas striker Michelle Heyman has more motivation than most ahead of next week’s Algarve Cup.
Heyman missed more than nine months of football following a shocking ankle injury suffered playing for Canberra United in the Westfield W-League in December 2016.
The 29-year-old snapped all ligaments in her ankle, breaking her big toe and the tendon and fracturing part of the bone.
Struggling with a frustrating and slow recovery process, Heyman opted for an ‘experimental’ injection program which saw the striker receive saline and cortisone shots to help repair scar tissue.
The treatment worked but it also saw the bubbly attacker miss some of the Matildas’ biggest matches over the past 12 months.
The striker was unavailable for Australia’s 2017 Algarve Cup campaign, the historic Tournament of Nations win in the USA and the friendly wins over Brazil on home soil in September.
But after cameo appearances for the Matildas against China in November and a solid Westfield W-League season, Heyman is keen to make up for lost time.
“I personally hope to get some game time. I was injured for the last year and I missed this trip last time because of injury,” Heyman told matildas.footballaustralia.com.au
“I’m just excited to be back in the mix of things and to improve myself and my game for the team!
“So that’s my number one that I’m going to work on. I’m Just happy to be back and put in the hard work.”
The Algarve Cup kicks off on February 28 with Australia drawn in Group A alongside Norway, Portugal and China.
While April’s Asian Cup in Jordan is the main focus for the Matildas, Heyman admitted next year’s FIFA World Cup in France was a big personal motivation.
“That is one I’m looking forward too! With my career coming closer to the end – I think I’ve got maybe another two to three more years left in me,” Heyman said.
“Another World Cup and another Olympics is my goal, and I think Paris is going to be insane!
“Us qualifying for that is going to be the next big thing for the Matildas, and then you’ll see us in number one or two position I think!”