Emma Hayes says everyone in the Chelsea family is looking after and supporting Sam Kerr in the wake of the ACL injury she sustained during our warm-weather training camp in Morocco.

Kerr played an integral role during the first half of the campaign, as we ended 2024 top in both the Barclays Women’s Super League table and our UEFA Women’s Champions League group.

However, as we stepped up our preparations in North Africa ahead of the resumption of the campaign, Kerr suffered a knee injury in training. She will undergo surgery imminently and then begin her rehabilitation programme.

Hayes has expressed the devastation she feels for Kerr and reiterated the unwavering support the Australian is receiving from those around her.

‘She’s having surgery today (Thursday). I’m gutted for her and gutted for the team, these things happen in football and she knows that. The important thing is that we are here to support her and the recovery and rehab begins today.’

ACL injuries have been a regular point of discussion around women in sport, but Hayes was quick to highlight the issue is not isolated to female athletes or football.

‘Injuries do happen in football, they happen in men’s and women’s football,' she said. 'Sometimes we have a confirmation bias around ACL injuries, but they happen in the sport, and regardless of why they happen.

‘Today is about letting Sam know that she’s with her Chelsea family and we’ll look after her.’

Looking ahead to a return to competitive football, which starts with our FA Cup tie against West Ham on Sunday, Hayes praised the talent and personnel within the squad, and that the focus is on preparing the team we have at our disposal.

‘Sam would expect me to say nothing less, our focus has to be on the fit players. We have a quality squad and the challenge for me as a coach is to find those solutions.

'I trust in our squad, while the focus and the attention has to be on the players who are here.’