Westfield Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams will undergo a second knee reconstruction after suffering an ACL injury while playing in the United States.
The 26-year-old ruptured the ACL in her left knee and will return to Australia to undergo surgery.
Williams, who also plays for Canberra United in the Westfield W-League, ruptured the ACL in the same left knee in 2012 while playing for Swedish club Pitea IF and still hopes to be fit for the 2015 FIFA Women-s World Cup in Canada.
Williams leaves New York on Thursday and will return to Adelaide for surgery before starting her rehabilitation in Canberra.
“As soon as I did it I knew I had injured my ACL and it was pretty devastating. I knew the feeling and I was pretty sure that I had done it again and immediately started thinking about how I could get back onto the field in time for the World Cup,” Williams said.
“I spoke to Kate Beerworth (Westfield Matildas physiotherapist) and James Ilic (Westfield Matildas Doctor) as well as Canberra United medical staff to start planning the operation, rehab and recovery.
“Because I-ve been through an ACL rehabilitation previously, the one advantage I have is that mentally I know what-s ahead of me and I know what-s required to get back onto the field, which is now my focus.”
Williams- injury comes at a time that Football Federation Australia (FFA) is implementing a preventative program amongst female football players following research into the number of ACL injuries across women-s sport.
Williams joins fellow Westfield Matilda Leena Khamis on the sidelines with an ACL injury.
“FFA has undertaken research into the prevalence of ACL injuries among elite female football players and the impact it is having on the players and development of the Matildas and women-s football,” said FFA Head of Medical Services, Jeff Steinweg.
“Matildas physiotherapist Kate Beerworth has worked on identifying risk factors for ACL injuries and in particular for female athletes and identified preventative programs that have proven to be effective.
“Kate has developed a specific injury prevention program for warm up after reviewing existing successful ACL prevention programs around the world and held education seminars for coaches and trainers at the 2014 women-s NTC Championships.
“FFA has also developed standardised screening processes for all National Team and W-League players and is planning an on-line resource as part of a strategy to protect the players from future ACL injuries at all levels of the game.”