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Leah Williamson: England captain 'fit and ready' to return

Leah Williamson: England captain 'fit and ready' to return

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Leah Williamson will miss the 2023 Women's World Cup after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

England defender Leah Williamson is “fit and ready” to return for the first time in a year in Friday’s Euro 2025 qualifier against Sweden, England coach Sarina Wigman said.

Williamson suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in April 2023 and withdrew from friendlies in February due to a hamstring problem.

“She’s in a good place and prepared,” Wegman said.

“We needed to control her a little bit. She had a full training session yesterday and will be on the pitch again today (Thursday).”

“This is really good. It's still in the building phase but it's in a good position – if it works today of course.”

Asked whether Williamson would captain the team, Wegmann said: “If she plays, she is the leader. We just want to get through this training session and see how she is and how the team is.”

There was a blow for Manchester City goalkeeper Khiara Keating, who withdrew from the squad with a knee injury and was replaced by Southampton's Kayla Rendell, her first call-up to the first team.

All 23 available players trained at St George's Park on Thursday and will travel to London to face Sweden at Wembley.

Before the match, the Lionesses will wear training jerseys displaying their names in British Sign Language, to help make football more accessible.

Wegman's team has been placed in a qualifying group featuring two of the top six teams in the world where they face France, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland, seeded third, sixth and twenty-fifth respectively.

The top two teams from Group A will automatically qualify for next summer's tournament, while the other two teams will enter the qualifiers.