Beth Mead fighting to make World Cup but admits tournament may come too soon
England forward Beth Mead says she will “try my hardest” to make the summer’s World Cup while admitting “it may be a little bit too soon”.
Mead, who claimed the Golden Boot and player of the tournament award when the Lionesses won the Euros on home soil last year, has been sidelined since suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament while playing for Arsenal in November.
In March, England boss Sarina Wiegman said she was planning for the World Cup without Mead, adding: “If a miracle happens and she goes so fast (in her recovery), then we will reconsider it – but at this moment I don’t expect that.”
Speaking on Wednesday as she received an MBE at Windsor Castle for services to football, Mead told the PA news agency: “I’m back on the pitch, back kicking a ball. So it’s starting to be a little bit more normal again, but it’s been a long, tough period.
“I will try my hardest to get as close to that as possible. But (the World Cup) may be a little bit too soon for me this time around.”
Mead also told Sky Sports she was “ahead of schedule” in her recovery, before adding that her World Cup participation is “out of my control”.
The showpiece in Australia and New Zealand gets under way on July 20, with Wiegman set to name her squad for the tournament later this month.
Mead is one of four Arsenal players to have sustained ACL injuries this season, with England captain Leah Williamson another, along with Vivianne Miedema and Laura Wienroither.
On the broader picture in terms of ACL injuries, Mead told PA: “I think there’s more that can be done. Obviously, we’ll be delving into that a lot more as individuals and as a club and in the women’s game in general.
“I think it’s becoming like six more times likely than male players and we’ve got that figure and that’s something that can help.
“It’s a long injury and you don’t want to be seeing any player going out with it, but some of the best players that you want to be seeing in World Cups and things like that (have sustained the injury).
“We’ll try and help push that out there more and get more research done on that.”
Also receiving an MBE on Wednesday was Mead’s England team-mate Lucy Bronze, who has been out of action herself after undergoing knee surgery last month.
The Barcelona defender, whose club play Wolfsburg in the Champions League final on June 3, said: “I think (the World Cup) is really far in the future and I should be back training within a few weeks now. The surgery was two weeks ago but very minor compared to some of the other girls.
“I’m hoping to get back fit for the Champions League final.”