The Matildas will be without superstar striker and captain Sam Kerr for an extended period of time after suffering a serious knee injury during a training camp in Morocco with her English Premier League club Chelsea.

The ACL rupture has been confirmed by Chelsea and the Matildas as Kerr will begin rehab straight away with Chelsea’s medical team back in London.

Matildas captain Kerr has scored four goals in eight games for Barclays Women’s Super League leaders Chelsea this season and has also found the back of the net five times in four European Champions League appearances.

Kerr, who has scored 99 goals in 128 career games for Chelsea, will now undergo an assessment by a specialist before starting a lengthy period of rehabilitation.

This is a significant setback for Australian fans, as Kerr’s chances of recovering in time for the Matildas’ Olympics campaign in Paris this year are slim.

While the Matildas have not officially ruled Kerr out of their Olympics campaign, which begins on July 26, the typical recovery period for ACL surgeries is six months. However, it is more common for athletes to require 9-12 months on the sidelines before making a full comeback.

Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson described the injury as a significant loss for the team.

He mentioned that considering Sam’s hard work over the past six months to return to play, this news is devastating for everyone. With her ability to lead by example, Sam’s guidance and influence on the team is important, and as a result, this will be a significant loss for the national team.

Gustavsson concluded by stating that their focus now is on ensuring she receives all the support she needs for recovery and rehabilitation.