Injured goalkeeper Bardsley withdraws from Team GB squad for Olympics

The Manchester City goalkeeper, who is currently on loan at US side OL Reign, got hurt in the closing stages of a fixture with Washington Spirit last month.

Bardsley has now been forced to pullout of Hege Riise’s 18-player squad for Tokyo and a replacement will be called up in due course.

As a two-time World Cup semi-finalist with England, and part of the London 2012 Olympic Games squad, Bardsley was one of the most experienced members in the Team GB squad and her absence is a blow.

Riise said: “Losing Karen is a big blow for us – but more importantly for her. She has been an incredible international goalkeeper for many years and her presence in the squad would have also helped the younger players in the group.

“Of course, this is football and this means an opportunity for someone else to take. The group are very positive about the challenge ahead and can’t wait to get started.”

Bardsley added: “After a difficult road back to fitness and form, being selected for Tokyo felt like the greatest achievement.

“Then, to be forced to withdraw through injury so close to the Games feels devastatingly cruel. Regardless of the situation, i’ll do whatever I can to help my teammates and Team GB every step along the way.  I wish nothing but success for everyone.”

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