Jordan Nobbs, the England and Arsenal midfielder, a player described by Lionesses boss Phil Neville as “invaluable”, is coming to terms with the fact that she will miss the Women’s World Cup in France in June and July.
Making it the second time Nobbs has suffered an injury in the build-up to a World Cup. She ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament during Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Everton in November. This is the second time Nobbs has suffered an injury in the build-up to a World Cup.
One of the hardest parts for Nobbs was “Hearing the surgeon say ‘this is a nine-month injury, you’re putting yourself at such a high risk coming into a major tournament of doing it again, re-rupturing and being out for maybe two years”.
Nobbs, capped 56 times by England, remembers the moment she suffered the injury.
“I heard it pop. Probably if I hadn’t heard it pop, I wouldn’t have been in as much shock or scared of what happened. I love this club, Arsenal, but the first thing on my mind was the World Cup.”
This is the second time Nobbs has suffered an injury in the build-up to a World Cup.
In 2015, the midfielder, then 22, tore a hamstring two weeks before the tournament in Canada.
She travelled with the team but only played in England’s 2-1 group stage win over Colombia as England eventually finished third at the tournament.
Nobb said her decision to miss this World Cup is based on the last one, “I don’t want to say it was torture being at the last World Cup, but being injured and being in that environment, in that bubble and you get to a semi-final… I wanted to do more than I did there.
“I played a full 90 minutes with a torn hamstring yet I still don’t truly believe that that bronze medal is mine because I wanted to play so much of a part in it.”
Nobbs, a two-time Women’s Super League winner with Arsenal, says the support she has received from the football world has been “incredible”.
Nobbs, who is almost three months into an expected nine-month rehabilitation process, says her injury has also taken a mental toll.
“Some days I’m great; I’m ready for the fight,” she said. “Some days I walk in the gym and I want everyone else to leave; I want to be on my own.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen. You have to accept that good day and bad days are all part of the experience, part of learning who you are as a player and as a person.
“One thing I’ve learned, even after the last two months is don’t take even the smallest things for granted, like walking to my car, trying to get in the car or being in the bathroom comfortably.
“Things like that that you totally forget about. Even when I did it, I just couldn’t wait to walk properly again. There are a lot of worse things in the world.”