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Gunners left stunned by Nobbs knee injury

Arsenal skipper faces months on the sidelines, putting her World Cup hopes in doubt

23 November, 2018 — By Steve Barnett

Jordan Nobbs scored her eighth goal of the season against Everton on Sunday before suffering a serious injury. Photos: Daniela Porcelli-Joerdeli

THERE was heartache for Arsenal and England goal-getter Jordan Nobbs this week when it was revealed she is likely to miss the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.

Nobbs, who turns 26 next month, is also a doubt for next summer’s World Cup after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament in Sunday’s Women’s Super League victory over Everton.

The Gunners confirmed the extent of her injury on Monday, adding that she is now “receiving specialist care”. It is expected the attacking midfielder will be on the sidelines for between six to nine months, which is the expected recovery time for ACL injuries.

Nobbs has been integral in Arsenal’s 100 per cent start to the league season, averaging a goal a game. The skipper scored her eighth of the campaign at the weekend as Joe Montemurro’s side beat the Toffees 4-0 to open up a six-point lead at the top of the table over Manchester City.

The Gunners can ill afford to lose Nobbs having already been deprived of influential Scotland international Kim Little, who fractured her fibula in last month’s win over Chelsea.

The Women’s World Cup kicks off on June 7 in France, and a fully fit Nobbs would certainly be expected to start for Phil Neville’s Lionesses.

Danielle van de Donk

Now, however, she faces a race against time.

Former Arsenal and England forward Kelly Smith described Nobbs as the “engine” of England’s midfield, and says the injury is a “big blow” to their chances of winning the World Cup.

“She’s a pivotal part of the England set-up and it’s a massive loss to both Arsenal and England,” Smith told BBC Sport.

“It’s going to be tough for her to make the squad.

“No one player makes a team, but when you’re playing so positively and full of confidence, it’s a blow. She is the engine, so it’s a big blow.”
Smith, who suffered the same injury during her playing career, added that making the England squad in such a short space of time would be a “massive feat”.

“It depends on the surgery and how she reacts post-surgery,” she added.

“Anything is possible but you don’t know, and you have to keep a positive frame of mind because you might have a couple of setbacks.

“It will be tough for her but I’m sure she knows that. I pray she comes back because she’s an integral part of the side.”

Nobbs was joined on the score-sheet against Everton by Danielle van de Donk and Vivianne Miedema, who scored a quick-fire brace, as the Gunners made it eight league wins from eight.

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