Beth Mead returns to Lionesses squad for first time since suffering ACL injury

Mead is back in the England squad after a year-long absence

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Beth Mead has returned to the England squad for the first time in over a year ahead of the Lionesses’ crunch Women’s Nations League double-header against the Netherlands and Scotland.

The news comes 364 days after Mead confirmed she had ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) playing for Arsenal, an injury which subsequently ruled the Euro 2022 golden boot winner out of this summer’s World Cup.

The 28-year-old recently revealed she went through some “very dark moments” as she dealt with not only missing the World Cup due to a long-term injury but also the loss of her mum, who died in January after a battle with cancer.

Mead returned to action with Arsenal last month but England manager Sarina Wiegman said she was not ready for international selection. However, the forward has since picked up more minutes for the Gunners and made her first start of the season in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Brighton in the Women’s Super League.

Mead’s last appearance for the Lionesses came in a 4-0 victory over Japan last November and her return comes at a key time ahead of must-win fixtures against the Netherlands at Wembley and Scotland at Hampden Park.

The Lionesses’ hopes of earning Team GB a spot at next summer’s Olympics Games were dealt a significant blow following a shock defeat in Belgium last month, just the fourth suffered since Wiegman took charge.

It means England trail both the Netherlands and Belgium in Nations League Group A, with three points separating the three sides, leaving the Lionesses requiring victories against the Dutch and Scotland while hoping other results also go their way.

More follows

England squad for Netherlands and Scotland

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Chelsea), Khiara Keating (Manchester City)

Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Grace Clinton (Tottenham Hotspur, loan from Manchester United), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Barcelona), Katie Zelem (Manchester United)

Forwards: Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Alessia Russo (Arsenal)

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