Keira Walsh went off injured during the first half of England’s 1-0 win over Denmark and was later pictured on crutches - but she has avoided a major injury and isn’t leaving Australia yet

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World Cup diary: England win by Walsh injury casts shadow

Keira Walsh has not suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury following England’s win over Denmark.

There were major fears the Lionesses star would be ruled out for the rest of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, when she was stretchered off the pitch during the Group D clash, which England won thanks to a Lauren James goal. But the midfielder has undergone a scan which revealed she had not suffered an ACL.

However, Walsh will miss England’s game with China in Adelaide on Tuesday. The European Champions still need a point to ensure qualification to the last 16.

Although Walsh will be out of action for the next few days, she will remain at the Terrigal team base to continue her recovery where she will be monitored closely by the England medical team. Walsh may yet return for the knockout stages of the World Cup Down Under, providing the Lionesses safely navigate their clash with China.

Before Walsh went off on a stretcher, England had started quickly against the Danes, with Lauren James firing home the only goal within the opening minutes. England held out for the win after Walsh left the pitch, but struggled to control the game without their inspirational midfielder, who played a huge role in the run to Euros glory last summer.

The news that Walsh has not ruptured her ACL - an injury that has sidelined both Beth Mead and captain Leah Williamson - will not only be good news for England fans, but also to Barcelona fans. Walsh won the Champions League at the Catalan giants in her first season at the club.

Although Sarina Wiegman will be relieved at the outcome of the scan, she will still have to plan without Walsh for the China game. Laura Coombs replaced the playmaker against Denmark and could be in line to start, although this could mean shuffling Georgia Stanway to a deeper midfield role.

Keira Walsh on crutches after going down injured and stretchered off against Denmark at Sydney Football Stadium in Sydney on July 28, 2023. Keira Walsh on crutches after going down injured and stretchered off against Denmark at Sydney Football Stadium (


(Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images))

After the game England manager Sarina Wiegman said: “You then saw what we did, (Georgia) Stanway dropped back and Laura came in. Yes, of course we had to find our feet a little bit you saw different stages. We really dominated the first half. Then Keira (Walsh) went out and we had to adapt to the situation.

“In the second half, they [Denmark], also had such a direct style of play. We also showed we can fight. The team showed real resilience. We kept it to 1-0 so it was really good and I’m really proud of the team. We weren’t upset, we just had to find our feet.

“It is not nice but we also know these things happen in football and you have to move on.”

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