When England star Keira Walsh awkwardly crumpled to the ground in Sydney on Friday, the concern on her face was instant. Clutching her knee with one hand, she immediately signalled to the bench that her night was over. As the physios ran on the pitch, her words to them were as clear as day: “I’ve done my knee.”
The midfielder had stretched to win the ball but seemed to get her foot stuck in the ground and the result was that she couldn’t walk off the pitch. The stretcher came on and carried off the Lionesses’ most influential player and the game against Denmark fell flat from there, petering out into a 1-0 win for the European champions despite the odd scare.
England are now facing the possibility of trying to compete for the Women’s World Cup title without Walsh - one of the best footballers on the planet. How on earth do they go about replacing the one irreplaceable player in their squad?