Beth Mead returns to Lionesses squad for first time since suffering ACL injury
Beth Mead has returned to the England squad for the first time in over a year ahead of the Lionesses’ crunch Women’s Nations League double-header against the Netherlands and Scotland.
The news comes 364 days after Mead confirmed she had ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) playing for Arsenal, an injury which subsequently ruled the Euro 2022 golden boot winner out of this summer’s World Cup.
The 28-year-old recently revealed she went through some “very dark moments” as she dealt with not only missing the World Cup due to a long-term injury but also the loss of her mum, who died in January after a battle with cancer.
Mead returned to action with Arsenal last month but England manager Sarina Wiegman said she was not ready for international selection. However, the forward has since picked up more minutes for the Gunners and made her first start of the season in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Brighton in the Women’s Super League.
"Of course that’s really nice,” manager Wiegman said after announcing her squad. “She’s played minutes and is in a good place and still building too. It was a very nice phone call and she was very happy.
“We’ve had phone calls all the time, since September, and October too, because she was training and getting some minutes, but I wanted to see more. Her health now is really good, she can just go. We hope she keeps improving, but she showed enough for me to bring her in.
“She is a character who brings positive energy on and off pitch, her experience, the way she plays, she is different to other players on the wing. We expect on and off pitch it gives us extra energy.”
Mead’s last appearance for the Lionesses came in a 4-0 victory over Japan last November and her return comes at a key time ahead of must-win