Tobin Heath will not be rejoining the U.S. Women’s National Team for the SheBelieves Cup next month due to an ankle injury that will keep her off the pitch for up to three months.
It’s also big loss for her Manchester United team that is vying for a title.
Heath to miss SheBelieves Cup
Heath, 32, injured her ankle ahead of a Jan. 17 match against Chelsea. She opted to stay with the club while the national team played two friendlies against Columbia the week of Jan. 18.
United manager Casey Stoney said Friday Heath is out for 10-12 weeks while rehabbing the injury. That would put her back on the pitch the first week of April at the earliest.
The U.S. will host the SheBelieves Cup from Feb. 18-24 in Orlando with Argentina, Brazil and Canada in attendance. Japan drew out of the competition with concerns about the virus in their own country. The national team won the cup in 2020.
Heath a loss for United in title competition
Overseas, United is competing at the top of the table with Chelsea for the title.
“It is a part of the game,” Stoney said. “She was a big player for us so she is a big loss. But, as all injuries, I always say it is a window of opportunity for somebody else.
“Disappointing for her but she is still heavily influential in our environment and we will work hard to get her back as safe and as quick as possible.”
United will face Everton on Sunday.
USWNT preparing for Tokyo Olympics
The USWNT is gearing up for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics this summer after taking much of 2020 off because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Heath and Christen Press opted out of the friendlies this month and Alex Morgan was unable to attend after testing positive for COVID-19.
Vlatko Andonovski has yet to announce a roster for the SheBelieves Cup, but fans were hoping the three stars would be back with the national team for it. Andonovski will only be able to bring 18 players to Tokyo and has a lot of decisions to make with solid veterans and budding young stars in the mix.
Sam Mewis injury not as bad as feared
The USWNT got good news on Friday from a different Women’s Super League team. Sam Mewis’ injury isn’t as bad as first feared, Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor said Friday.
“Sam's come back and I think it's kind of just working out with a scan which is kind of remnants of an old injury and which is kind of a new injury, because she's showing quite well to be honest,” he said, via Goal.com.
“She's looking good. She's come through a few checks. I think this weekend [against West Ham] will be too soon for her, but there's a real possibility that she could be back at the back end of next week and ready for the game after that.”
Mewis limped off during the national team’s 6-0 friendly win over Columbia a week ago. She scored a hat trick in the first friendly, a 4-0 win in which her sister Kristie Mewis also scored.
City is behind Chelsea and United atop the table.
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