Australia’s Sam Kerr ruled out of Paris Olympics 2024 with ACL injury

Kerr’s omission from the Olympics squad due to injury is a big blow to Australia’s gold medal chances at Paris 2024.

Australia's Sam Kerr celebrates after scoring her side's first goal during the Women's World Cup semifinal soccer match between Australia and England
Sam Kerr is Australia's most prolific striker with 69 goals in 128 appearances [File: Abbie Parr/AP]

Talismanic Australian striker Sam Kerr has been officially ruled out of the Olympics, almost five months after a serious knee injury derailed her season with Chelsea.

The Matildas captain, one of the biggest names in women’s football, ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in January and her father declared months ago that she would not be fit for Paris.

But there had been no official confirmation until Tuesday, when national coach Tony Gustavsson unveiled a 23-player squad for upcoming friendlies against China in Adelaide and Sydney.

“Attacker Amy Sayer (ACL) and forward Sam Kerr (ACL) remain on the sidelines with long-term injuries,” the squad announcement said, mentioning the duo’s knee injuries.

“Kerr and Sayer will continue their rehabilitation programs in their home club environments and subsequently will not be available for selection for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

Gustavsson said the 23-woman squad was a strong guide to his final Olympic lineup, but some omitted players, like injured midfielders Katrina Gorry and Aivi Luik, could come into consideration.

“[They] most likely will be physically available to be part of an Olympic roster,” Gustavsson said of Gorry and Luik.

“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.”

Kerr, who was on hand to celebrate Chelsea’s fifth consecutive FA Women’s Super League title at the weekend, is Australia’s most prolific striker with 69 goals in 128 appearances.

In March, she was charged with a “racially aggravated offence” in the United Kingdom following a dispute involving a police officer.

She has pleaded not guilty, with outgoing Chelsea boss Emma Hayes on Saturday reiterating that the club had given her their “full support”.

The 30-year-old is expected to face trial in February 2025.

Australia’s clashes against China on May 31 and June 3 are their final home matches ahead of the July-August Olympics.

Australia will bid for their first Olympic medal at the Paris Games after making the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup on home soil last year.

Source: News Agencies