Kelly talks openly about her injury, which will keep her out of the game for bot
Kelly talks openly about her injury, which will keep her out of the game for both club and country for six months
"I sustained my injury late in the game at home to San Jose. I made a darting run down the left wing with the ball. Our Chinese player Lihong was ahead of me and cut inside to the right to give me space down the flank, a defender came to close me down and I went to pass the ball to my right to Lihong while on the run. As I did this all my momentum was shifted onto the right side of my body but my knee stayed there and I heard a pop. I would not wish this pain on my worst enemy, I can tell you that much. But as soon as I was diagnosed with a torn ACL, I started rehab the next day."
"With this injury it is best to get the swelling down in the knee and gain as much range of motion back as possible before surgery. I started off with knee slides on a wall, straight leg raises and quad contractions as well as some bike riding. Then I had surgery on 20th June. After a lot of drowsiness and pain, since surgery I have gotten right back into rehab along with resting. I meet with the team's Physical Therapists three days a week and our team physio the other three so I have one day off."
"I have to have my leg in a CPM machine for six hours a day which moves my leg automatically back and forth to keep everything in there moving. I also have to ice my knee three to six times every day for 20 minutes each time. I am not in plaster, I just have a bandage over my knee. I am on crutches right now but have already started to put weight on my leg."
"Right now my main goal is to strengthen my quad muscle and get the range of motion back in my knee. It's amazing how quickly my muscles in my leg depleted after tearing the ACL. Soon I will start to work on my upper body strength as well - that's when I can walk."
"The injury came at a bad time. I was playing extremely well and enjoying every minute of it - I was riding high on confidence. I had scored four goals in our first six games from midfield. I really thought this season was going to by my year. It's so ironic really. The day after I tore my ACL the doctor called to give me the results of the MRI scan. He asked me if I wanted the good news or the bad news first."
"I said, 'good news', so he told me I had just been voted Player Of The Month in the WUSA league - voted in with 13 out of 15 votes. Then the bad news... I had a complete tear of my ACL and a partial tear of the meniscus."
"It had meant a lot to be named captain too. After last season I realised what was needed to be on our team, so I sat down with the coach and asked him if he could get me a personal trainer to work with in the off season. I knew I needed to get in much better shape. I met with the trainer three days a week in addition to working on my own. I set high goals and I met them."
" So when I returned from the off season and I was in great shape - I was better focused and committed - so the coach obviously saw how hard I had worked. It also showed from the fitness tests that we had to go through at the beginning of pre season. And he also knew how much my team-mates respected my level of play and the commitment I had shown in the off season. The coach had told me I was 'the obvious choice' to be captain. It is a very big honour for me."
"Pre season training starts with Philadelphia in February, and I expect to be there. Off the field, it has really been overwhelming and surprising to me how much response I have had from fans and friends from all over the US as well as from home. The Charge set up a 'Get Well Kelly' link on their website, so I have been getting lots of e-mails everyday since the injury happened."
"The e-mails are very encouraging with lots of inspirational comments about how sorry they are - that it's a big loss that they can't see me play but how forward they are looking to next year. I also spend some of my free time answering them. My apartment has looked like a funeral home for the past few weeks with the constant arrival of flowers and get well cards. It's been surprising. I'm also going to be missing the World Cup play-offs with England."
"England have drawn Iceland in the semis and I think they have a very, very good chance. In the last couple of games in our qualifying group the team really came together and pulled out some excellent performances while the pressure was on. It is very important for the women's game back home for England to qualify considering that there is talk of professionalism. If we were to make the World Cup then we would have more exposure and that would only be good for the game."
"I believe it is crucial that we make it in order to keep moving up the international ladder. Obviously playing in the European Championships last summer was a big thing for everybody. All the team members thrived from that and are working to go one step further to get to China next year."