Notts County first choice goalkeeper Carly Telford today underwent surgery to repair damage to the lateral and medial ligaments in her left ankle, and is expected to be out for two to three months.
Telford picked up the injury after a collision in first-half stoppage time against the Doncaster Belles in their first match back after the mid-season break, eight days ago. After a hefty delay Telford left the Meadow Lane pitch on a stretcher and her club has today confirmed the prognosis.
Walsh's time to shine
With Telford whisked off in an ambulance the spotlight fell on back-up ‘keeper Megan Walsh, although rarely troubled in the second-half Walsh kept a clean sheet to help insure a win for the home side.
Notts fans will be aware that although Walsh was only signed in late December she’s already had two full spells in the County goal, deputising for Telford when the third choice England keeper picked up a knock on international duty. Firstly, in an FA Cup round of 16 win over WSL2 side Durham before a superb performance against Manchester City on the first day of the season.
Her first league start for the Lady Pies saw the former Toffee make a number of key saves, including a Toni Duggan penalty, to keep the Citizens at bay, Walsh only beaten in stoppage time by an awkward bounce following a Steph Houghton free kick.
Following on from Telford’s injury, Notts boss Rick Passmoor brought in yet another England youth international keeper before the Summer transfer window slammed shut, signing up Lizzie Durack. With Telford expected to be out until the end of September, Walsh and Durack will battle over starting spot with Walsh preferred for Notts’ Continental Tyres Cup clash with Yeovil yesterday.
Options for Mark Sampson
The injury is likely to rule Telford out of the remaining two Euro 2017 qualifiers for England, the well-travelled keeper is the preferred third choice behind Manchester City’s Karen Bardsley and Liverpool’s Siobhan Chamberlain. Even if Telford has completed her rehab by the middle of September when England host Estonia before journeying to Leuven to face Belgium, it’s unlikely she’ll be too match-fit which opens up a spot in the national team. With both Reading’s Mary Earps and Sunderland’s Rachael Laws having been called up to deputise in the past all eyes will be on Mark Sampson to see who makes the cut.