Lauren James will not take part in England’s next two international games, a double-header against Belgium in the UEFA Women’s Nations League this weekend and early next week, after being forced to withdraw from the squad due to a concussion.
It’s unclear exactly how or when she picked up the injury, having started Chelsea last game, against Brighton on Sunday. She had then joined up with the Lionesses earlier this week and took part in at least one training session. But head coach Sarina Wiegmann has confirmed that the 22-year-old had gone back to Chelsea.
“Lauren James is not ready, she won’t be ready for Tuesday also. It’s nothing to worry about. She picked up a concussion and as you know we have to be very careful with the protocols, as we always do, and it’s just too short for the two upcoming games.”
-Sarina Wiegmann; source: Chelsea FC
Contrary to Wiegmann’s flippant dismissal, head injuries are always something to worry about, so it’s heartening to see that some sort of protocol is indeed being followed in this case. It’s taken a long time for football to start taking head injuries seriously.
Standard length for such protocols is at least a week, though every case is unique (we might recall César Azpilicueta taking several weeks to clear all tests after a seemingly innocuous incident last season).
Get well soon, LJ!
Fran Kirby, Millie Bright, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles, and Hannah Hampton were all called up as well and remain in contention to play. Meanwhile, Sam Kerr got on the scoresheet for Australia, in spite of her minutes being managed as she works her way back to full fitness.
SAM KERR is inevitable & was always going to score in her hometown. Kerr hadn't played in Perth since 2019, but netted off the bench vs. Iran as the Matildas began Olympic qualifying with a win, watched by 9th straight sell-out crowd. pic.twitter.com/O0fdAtXYfI— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) October 26, 2023