The Orlando Pride today announced the return of Alex Morgan to the team subject to an International Transfer Certificate (ITC), after her six months playing abroad with Olympique Lyonnais. The statement also revealed that Morgan is still completing rehabilitation from a hamstring injury and will not feature for the Pride until at least three to four weeks from now.
A spot in the final brings back Morgan's injury woe
Morgan had picked up her hamstring injury a week before OL were meant to play in the UEFA Women's Champions League and she raced against the clock to be fit enough to play in the final with her team. Morgan's desire to play is understandable considering that playing in a Champions League final is a once in a lifetime opportunity but it meant that she was at risk to get re-injured and that was what happened 20 minutes into the match. The injury not only prevented her from seeing out the match but also led to her being pulled out of the roster for the international friendlies the United States Women's National Team had scheduled against Sweden and Norway. Morgan and OL completed another famous treble, beating Paris Saint-Germain in a penalty shootout to win the Champions League trophy but her participation in the match now set her back to be available for the Pride.
The Pride will look to continue on a little longer without Morgan
For most of the National Women's Soccer League season, Orlando had struggled to find the back of the net. Marta's arrival alleviated that issue some but they were counting on having Morgan ready to go straight away to help their push up the table, particularly now that their starting goalkeeper, Ashlyn Harris, is set to miss a large chunk of the season through injury. The Pride has still managed to gain points recently and find a way to win but they would have probably liked to have Morgan on their game day roster sooner rather than later. Morgan will likely miss out on the two back-to-back matches against the Houston Dash, as well as games against Sky Blue FC, the Chicago Red Stars, and the Washington Spirit.
As for the national team, Morgan should be healthy and match fit by the time the Tournament of Nations begins at the end of July should Jill Ellis require her services. Knowing Morgan, she will be aiming to be back on the field as soon as the doctors can clear her and will work towards helping the Pride make the playoffs this season as well as impact the game for the USWNT this year.