Arsenal midfielder Lia Walti will miss Arsenal’s final two games of the season with an ankle injury after being on the end of a heavy challenge during Wednesday night’s 4-1 victory at Everton. However, the player is set to recover in time for the World Cup in late July.
Walti is the captain of the Swiss national team and initially, she went down in a lot of pain after a mistimed challenge from Everton’s Aggie Beever-Jones. Given the way her ankle buckled, the injury looked serious.
However, the player did not go to hospital from the stadium, which suggests (in my limited medical knowledge!) that no break or dislocation of the ankle was detected. Walti was on crutches after the match.
An initial scan also showed no break or dislocation and a scan took place on Thursday to detect the extent of the damage to the anterior talfibular ligaments. The first scan has proved promising and the player is only expected to be out for around six weeks, which would give her time to recover ahead of Switzerland’s World Cup opener against Philippines on 21 July.
Jonas Eidevall confirmed during his pre-Chelsea press conference, “She is out for the season for us. But the initial examinations show it is not too bad. It’s not a multiple month injury, she should be able to recover before the World Cup. Of course, that is very, very important for her as a player and we are very happy that it wasn’t more serious.
“I was afraid it could be so it was a relief, but unfortunately she can’t be on the pitch for Arsenal again this season.” Eidevall admitted that this has been his toughest season in coaching with four ACL injuries and season ending issues for Kim Little and Lia Walti.
“It is on a few different levels, first is to think forwards but not to forget there is a person, there is an individual behind every injury that we need to take care of and support. We need to support that person as excellently as we can.
“The other is to be flexible and find solutions and think of what is best for the team. We need to try another formation, when other players come in we have to adapt to their qualities. That has been the challenge, to constantly generate new ways of thinking and finding ways to optimise the way we play.
“It is tough because you feel so much for them and what they miss but to constantly have to come up with new solutions and prepare new ways but when you are in the middle of it, you have to keep on going, one game at a time.”