Manchester City have confirmed star right back Lucy Bronze has undergone surgery on her right knee just two weeks before the new 2021/22 WSL season is due to begin.
Bronze has suffered multiple knee injuries throughout her career but the operation is said to have been a success and the 2020 FIFA Best Women’s Player will begin a period of rehab at the club.
Although City expect her to resume training in the ‘near future’, Bronze is likely to be a doubt for the start of what promises to be an historic WSL season.
Bronze’s absence could mean a run in the team for 20-year-old Esme Morgan. City have also utilised Olympic gold medalist Janine Beckie and even Georgia Stanway at right back in the past.
City kick off their domestic season against West Ham on Saturday 4 August, just a little over two weeks away, in a game that will be broadcast live on BBC One as part of the league’s landmark new television broadcast deal worth over £7m per year.
A few days earlier, City will have already played their first competitive game of the season when they face an as yet unknown opponent in the first leg of a second qualifying round tie in the Women’s Champions League.
The draw for that tie will be made once the first qualifying round has concluded. City are among the seeded teams in the ‘league’ side of qualifying and could be drawn against any one of PSV Eindhoven, Bordeaux, Kristianstad, Hoffenheim, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Levante or Rosenborg, depending on which of those reaches the second round.
They could not be drawn against Arsenal, who are also in the ‘league’ side of the first qualifying round and hoping to progress, as both clubs come from the same domestic competition.