Sam Kerr certain to miss Paris Olympics after being omitted from Matildas squad for warm-up games

<span>Matildas captain Sam Kerr will continue her recovery from injury with her club <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Chelsea;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Chelsea</a> and will miss the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Paris;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Paris</a> Olympics.</span><span>Photograph: Naomi Baker/The FA/Getty Images</span>

Any lingering hope of Sam Kerr returning from injury to play at this year’s Olympics has been extinguished after the Matildas captain was left out of the squad for two final warm-up games before the Paris Games begin in July.

Kerr has been rehabilitating from knee surgery since rupturing her ACL in January and, while it was unlikely she would recover in time to feature at the tournament in France, Football Australia had not confirmed her unavailability until Tony Gustavsson unveiled his latest 23-player squad on Tuesday.

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In a statement the FA said Kerr remained on the sidelines and would continue her rehabilitation program in her home club environment at Chelsea. “Subsequently [she] will not be available for selection for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” the statement read.

Kerr’s injury had already precluded her from featuring in the Matildas’ final Olympic qualifiers against Uzbekistan in February, which sealed the team’s place at the Games, where they will attempt to win a first Olympic medal.

Amy Sayer has also been ruled out as she too recovers from a long-term ACL injury, while doubts remain over Katrina Gorry and Aivi Luik, who are both coming back from injuries and were overlooked in this squad.

Gorry had ankle surgery last month and is facing a race against time to prove her fitness, although Gustavsson said he was hopeful the midfielder, and Luik, would be fit enough to be considered for selection. The final squad for the Olympics will be announced in June, when the list will be trimmed to just 18 players.

“I think everyone can do the math here and understand that obviously the Olympic roster will be based mostly out of those that are in this upcoming May/June camp,” Gustavsson said.

“However we also have some players in Katrina and Aivi unavailable for selection for this window but most likely will be physically available to be part of an Olympic roster. This window will be a tough one for me and my staff in terms of evaluating players, where they are, and then the final selection process for Paris.”

While Gustavsson deals with those absences, he has been boosted by the return of the defender Clare Hunt, who missed the Matildas’ last outing – a 2-0 win over Mexico last month.

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Hunt has overcome a foot stress fracture and is joined in the squad by Courtney Nevin and Lydia Williams, neither of whom featured in April’s Fifa window. Since then the goalkeeper Williams has announced her intention to retire from international football after the Olympics and the veteran will be honoured in the upcoming game at Sydney’s Accor Stadium on 3 June – the team’s final home match before heading to Europe.

Three days before that, the Matildas play China for a first time in Adelaide. They then kick off their Olympic campaign against Germany in Marseille on 26 July, before playing Zambia and the US to round out their group stage campaign.

Australia squad for China games

Steph Catley (captain), Mackenzie Arnold, Ellie Carpenter, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Sharn Freier, Charlotte Grant, Winonah Heatley, Michelle Heyman, Clare Hunt, Alanna Kennedy, Teagan Micah, Courtney Nevin, Clare Polkinghorne, Hayley Raso, Kaitlyn Torpey, Emily van Egmond, Cortnee Vine, Clare Wheeler, Jada Whyman, Lydia Williams, Tameka Yallop.