Manchester United have received a heavy blow in their attempt to clinch a first WSL title after World Cup winner Tobin Heath was sidelined for up to 12 weeks with an ankle injury.
Heath joined the Red Devils alongside his USWNT teammate Christen Press in September on a one-year contract with Portland Thorns – the two biggest signings in the club’s short history.
It has been one of the best performances in the WSL as United mounted a surprise title challenge in their second top-flight season, scoring four times in seven league starts.
However, the two-time World Cup winner and Olympic champion hasn’t played for the Red Devils since the Christmas break, ruling out the Red Devils’ 2-1 loss to Chelsea – their WSL loss of the season – and victory. 2-0 over Birmingham.
“We are looking 10-12 weeks away from the injury, unfortunately suffered in training. It’s longer, ”Casey Stoney said ahead of her team’s trip to Everton (via The Telegraph.)“ She’s a great player for us so it’s a big loss, and it’s disappointing for her. It’s part of the game but, as with all injuries, I always say, it’s a window of opportunity for someone else.
“But she is still very influential in our environment. We will work hard to get her back as safe and as quickly as possible.
While losing a player of Heath’s quality is a big blow for United, they still have an assortment of attacking options to summon.
Winger Leah Galton – one of United’s stars last season – has come in at the back after Press and Heath arrived, but has returned to her natural left wing position after various front row injuries United and went on to win the December Player of the Month Award.
Forward Lauren James is also back in great shape, while Alessia Russo was pictured on the grass on Friday as she continues her recovery from a hamstring injury.