Injured Jess Fishlock aims to be fit for Wales World Cup qualifier

By Owain LlyrBBC Wales Sport
Jess Fishlock in action for Melbourne City
Jess Fishlock played for Melbourne City in Australia during the US close season

Jess Fishlock says she will be fit for Wales' opening World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan on 17 September.

The midfielder, who won her 100th cap in April, suffered knee and ankle injuries while playing for her club Seattle Reign at the start of July.

"The rehab is going very well. Everybody's really happy with the progress I'm making," she said.

"Hopefully I'll be back in early August. We have a fantastic team here, and I'm super lucky with that."

She added: "The only reason I would not be fit for Kazakhstan is if I get a separate injury. As long there's no setbacks I'll be available for selection."

Fishlock sustained a grade two MCL sprain to her knee after landing awkwardly, and she admits she initially feared the worst.

"Whenever you get a sharp pain around your knee the first thing you always think about is the cruciate ligament," she said.

"Straight away my medical team were on it, and within 24 hours I knew what the situation was.

"That quickly put my mind at ease, I got straight back on the rehab plan, and I'm hoping for a nice smooth return to play."

As well as Kazakhstan, Wales have been drawn in the same World Cup qualifying group as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Russia and England.

Fishlock said the decision to leave her out of Wales' squads for friendly matches against Portugal and the Netherlands was made with her health and fitness in mind.

"I had a very open and honest conversation with Jayne Ludlow (manager) and Rehanne Skinner (assistant manager) they were absolutely fantastic and so supportive," Fishlock added.

"And the viewpoint was the travel would have been a huge injury risk. And the consensus from Seattle and Wales was it was a risk that wasn't worth taking.

"It was a collective decision, and it was the right thing to do at that time."

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