Chelsea and England striker Fran Kirby has retired from action indefinitely as she continues to battle ongoing health issues.
The striker has been absent from the competition since February, confirming in a tweet on Friday evening that she intended to “put her health first”, before thanking Internet users for the messages of support she has received.
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes, who is preparing her side to face Arsenal this weekend, said Kirby was suffering from “fatigue”, but the cause is still unknown.
Hayes said: “No way she’s playing at the weekend. She’s been spending time in the background, suffering from a lot of fatigue.
Chelsea’s remaining matches
- April 17 – Arsenal (a) Women’s FA Cup
- April 24 – Tottenham (a) Women’s Super League
- April 28 – Tottenham Women’s Super League (h), live on Sky Sports
- May 1 – Birmingham City (a) Women’s Super League
- May 8 – Man United (h) Women’s Super League
“I don’t have a definitive reason why it is, we don’t know but we try to get to the bottom of it and take the time we can to try to find the right solutions for Fran. It’s something thing that’s been in progress and unfortunately until we get to the bottom of it, Fran won’t be available for selection.”
Kirby was named WSL Player of the Season last year, having missed much of the previous campaign.
The striker scored in England’s Arnold Clark Cup win over Germany in February which sealed the title for Sarina Wiegman’s side but would now look a doubt for the European Championships this summer .
England fixtures at Euro 2022
July 6: England vs Austria – kick-off 8pm, Old Trafford
July 11 England v Norway – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
15 July Northern Ireland vs England – kick off 8pm, St Mary’s
Wednesday July 20
Quarter-final 1: Group A winners v Group B runners-up – 8pm kick-off, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Thursday July 21
Quarter-final 2: Group B winners v Group A runners-up – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
tuesday july 26
Semi-final 1: Winner Quarter-Final 1 v Winner Quarter-Final 3 – Kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Wednesday July 27
Semi-final 2: Winner Quarter-Final 2 v Winner Quarter-Final 4 – Kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Sunday July 31
Winners Semi-Final 1 v Winners Semi-Final 2 – Kick-off 5pm, Wembley