Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji
When Catarina Macario tore her Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in Lyon’s final regular season game in June 2022, it seemed she would have plenty of time to return for the 2023 World Cup.
Eleven months later, Macario has still not returned to the pitch and the clock is possibly running out on an appearance at this year’s tournament.
ACL injuries typically take around nine months to heal, and based on her timeline, Macario appears to have suffered a setback of some kind.
Now, Lyon has only three games left on their schedule, and Macario will soon be out of contract with the club.
The deadline for a transfer to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has passed, with few opportunities left to return to the field.
The last update on Macario’s timeline anticipated a return to training in early April, which appears to have not materialized.
“My season with Lyon will end soon, so I hope that [Vlatko Andonovski] trusts me enough,” Macario told The Athletic in April.
“Whatever decision he may make, that’s on him. First of all, I just have to be healthy.”
The NWSL is planning to have 16 teams by 2026, commissioner Jessica Berman said on Washington Post Live this week.
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Utah and the Bay Area will join the league in 2024.
Boston is reportedly on track for expansion in 2026, meaning only one slot has not been claimed.
Other finalists for 2024 bids are Tampa and Cleveland, according to Sportico.
Groups in Minnesota and Oakland have also expressed interest in one day joining the NWSL.
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