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Fran Kirby withdraws from England squad with Chelsea star to also miss Man Utd clash

20:00 GMT+3 04/11/2022
Fran Kirby England Women 2022
England star Fran Kirby will miss the Lionesses' November fixtures after withdrawing from the squad due to illness.
  • Kirby struggling with viral infection
  • Will miss Chelsea vs Man Utd on Sunday
  • Jess Park takes place in England squad

WHAT HAPPENED? Kirby has been dealing with a viral infection and has only been involved in one of Chelsea's last five games as a result. Jess Park, on loan at Everton from Manchester City, will take her place in the Lionesses' squad to face Japan and Norway this month.

WHAT THEY SAID: "We've just got to give her the time to recover," Paul Green, Chelsea's technical director, said in his press conference on Friday as he ruled Kirby out of Sunday's Women's Super League game against Manchester United.

"She seems to be struggling to shake off this viral infection. She trained last Friday and, again, had some symptoms overnight and hasn't trained since."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Chelsea have also been without manager Emma Hayes for the last five games after she underwent surgery - though they've won all of them. Green said she is "getting better day-by-day", with Hayes attending last week's win over Aston Villa, but there is no date for her return to the dugout.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? Kirby has been directly involved in 50 goals in her last 33 starts in the WSL for Chelsea, registering 31 goals and 19 assists in that time for the reigning champions.

WHAT NEXT FOR KIRBY? The forward will hope the international break provides her with the chance to recover ahead of some big matches in November and December for Chelsea, including Champions League games against Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.