U.S. women’s national team star Carli Lloyd has a sprained right knee and will miss from three to six weeks, the Houston Dash announced.
Lloyd was injured in the fifth minute of a National Women’s Soccer League match between the Dash and the expansion Orlando Pride on Saturday. She played until the 14th minute, and was later seen on the sideline icing her knee.
Lloyd scored three goals in the first 16 minutes of the United States’ 5-2 victory over Japan in the final of the Women’s World Cup last summer. She was named FIFA Player of the Year.
The Dash said Monday that an MRI revealed she has a Grade 1 MCL sprain. There were concerns that if the injury were more severe she could miss the U.S. team’s bid for a fourth straight Olympic gold medal this summer in Brazil. The Olympic women’s soccer tournament runs from Aug. 3-19.
“I would like to thank everyone for their well wishes. Obviously, I’m very disappointed with the injury. I was feeling great and starting to get comfortable with my Dash teammates,” Lloyd said in a statement released by the Dash. “The timing is not great but I’m confident that I will come back in peak condition. Rehab starts tomorrow and you’ll see me on the field soon.”
Players from the U.S. national team are allocated throughout the NWSL, which is in its fourth year, with U.S. Soccer paying their salaries.
The Pride beat the Dash 3-1 before an NWSL record crowd of 23,403 fans at Orlando’s Citrus Bowl.
“We wish Carli the best as she recovers from this injury,” Dash managing director Brian Ching said.
Lloyd is not the only player from the World Cup-winning national team that is dealing with an injury: midfielder Megan Rapinoe is currently rehabbing after surgery to repair a torn ACL in her right knee. She was injured during practice last December.
National team players Sydney Leroux and Amy Rodriguez won’t play in the Olympics because both are pregnant.