(Reuters) – Fran Kirby said she was relieved to be selected in England’s squad for the Women’s European Championship after missing a large portion of Chelsea’s league-winning campaign due to fatigue.
In April, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said the 28-year-old forward, who successfully recovered from a heart condition called pericarditis in 2020, would not be available for club and country for the “foreseeable future”.
However, Kirby was included in England manager Sarina Wiegman’s 23-player squad for the Euros earlier this month, and came off the bench for her first appearance since February in a friendly against Belgium last week.
“I wouldn’t say that there was fear, but there was definitely relief to get selected,” Kirby told reporters on Wednesday.
“Going into Chelsea to training, I had conversations with Emma and just said, ‘look, what will be will be, if I’m ready I’m ready’. If I show (up), and I don’t get picked, then at least I know that I’ve done everything.”
England, twice runners-up at the Euros, kick off their campaign against Austria at Old Trafford on July 6 before facing Norway and Northern Ireland.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)