World Cup star Rose Lavelle, sidelined for a month with a head injury, has been cleared to resume full training with the Washington Spirit and is slated to play 45 minutes Saturday.
Since she was injured Aug. 17, Lavelle has missed three National Women’s Soccer League matches and two U.S. national team games on the World Cup victory tour.
Lavelle, 24, experienced headaches and balance issues and was placed in concussion protocol after a ball kicked by U.S. teammate Emily Sonnett smashed into the side of her face during an NWSL match against the Portland Thorns.
Because she is under contract as a national team player, the U.S. Soccer Federation’s medical staff monitored the situation and prevented Lavelle from returning to full-time duty until her symptoms dissipated and she passed concussion testing.
Lavelle is feeling better and passed the test, Spirit officials said. A full-field scrimmage Wednesday will help determine her condition and fitness level, Coach Richie Burke said.
Barring any setbacks in training this week, Lavelle will travel with the team to Chicago for Saturday night’s match against the Red Stars. With five games left, Washington (7-7-5) is in urgent need of a victory to remain in the thick of the playoff race. Chicago (12-8-2) is almost assured of advancing to the semifinals.
Because of multiple injuries and national team duty this year, Lavelle has appeared in only four NWSL matches. In 2018, for the same reasons, she started five games and appeared in 11 of 24 overall.
Returning to active duty with the Spirit will ostensibly allow her to resume playing for the national team, which will conclude the victory tour with matches against South Korea on Oct. 3 in Charlotte and Oct. 6 in Chicago.
The top-ranked Americans are also planning to play two friendlies in November against an opponent to be determined. The USSF is still finalizing the venues.
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