England midfielder Keira Walsh has not suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury but will miss the final group game against China.

Walsh had to be taken off as a substitute during the 1-0 win over Denmark on Friday — and there were immediate fears that she had damaged her ACL.

The 26-year-old went down 35 minutes into the game and got her foot caught in the turf.

Head coach Sarina Wiegman later admitted the injury looked “serious”. But the FA have confirmed Walsh has not damaged her ACL and will stay with England at the tournament as she recovers.

A statement read: “Following a scan late on Saturday afternoon, we can confirm Keira Walsh has not suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

“The midfielder was substituted during Friday’s 1-0 win against Denmark.

“Walsh has been ruled out of Tuesday’s final Group D match against China PR in Adelaide and will remain at England’s Terrigal base to continue her recovery.

“Her knee injury will continue to be assessed by England medical staff and no further update will be provided at this stage.”

England are already missing a number of key players due to injury, including Leah Williamson, Fran Kirby and Beth Mead.

How will Wiegman replace Keira Walsh?

The news that Keira Walsh is out of the final group game is a blow for Sarina Wiegman’s side — although it could ultimately prove to be better than first feared.

She was the player of the match in last summer’s Euros final, and defensive midfield is the one position which England do not have a ready-made replacement for.

As a result, the return of Walsh for the knockout stages, if that occurs, could be a major positive for England.

On Friday night, Wiegman opted to pull Georgia Stanway into the deeper role and give 32-year-old Laura Coombs her first major tournament action.

Lucy Staniforth, the most natural replacement at No 6, was only on the standby list and flew home earlier this week. Sides are not allowed to add players to their squad after the opening game.

Jacob Whitehead



How do you replace Keira Walsh? The question England never wanted to be asked

(Photo: FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

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