Chelsea: Sam Kerr undergoes surgery on knee injury as Emma Hayes addresses major blow

Chelsea forward Sam Kerr will undergo surgery after suffering an ACL injury during the Blues’ midseason training camp, Emma Hayes has confirmed.

Kerr has been ruled out for the rest of the season after picking up in the injury in Morocco last week, where Hayes had taken her side for warm weather training during the Women’s Super League’s mid-season break.

The Australian’s absence is a major blow to Chelsea, who are three points clear at the top of the division and looking to win a fifth successive title in what will be Hayes’s final season in charge.

“She’s having surgery today,” the Blues boss said on Thursday. “[I’m] gutted for her and for the team. These things happen in football and she knows that. The important thing is we’re here to support her and the recovery and rehab begins today.

“[She did it] doing a football action she does every day, turning and shooting. It was very innocuous.”

Kerr becomes the latest high-profile name to be struck by an ACL injury, with England pair Beth Mead and Leah Williamson, as well as Arsenal teammate Vivianne Miedema, all missing the summer’s Women's World Cup with similar issues.

The prevalence of such injuries across the wider women’s game has become a major talking point in recent seasons amid concerns over increasing workload, though Hayes was reluctant to go over the issue.

“This is not the moment to talk about how these things happen,” Hayes added. “Injuries happen in football, in men’s and women’s football. I think sometimes we have a confirmation bias around ACL injuries but I think they happen in the sport.

“Regardless of why they happen, I don’t think today is about that. It’s just letting her know she’s with her Chelsea family and we’ll look after her.”

The Blues return to action at home to West Ham in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday, in what will be their first competitive match since December 20, but they will remain without captain Millie Bright as she continues her recovery from a knee injury of her own.

"She’s in rehab at the minute and working hard on that,” Hayes said. “I can’t give a timeline on her return but she’s in good spirits and she’ll be back as soon as she can humanly and physically possibly make it back. I’m sure she’d put her boots on today if I asked but we need to get it right for her long term future.”