Hamstrung Simon ruled out of Algarve Cup

Matilda Kyah Simon will miss the Algarve Cup because of a hamstring injury.The Matildas will contest the Algarve Cup without star forward Kyah Simon, who’s been ruled out with a hamstring injury sustained in the W-League grand final.

In a further blow to the Matildas’ attacking might at the invitational tournament in Portugal, scan results determined Simon faces a lay-off of about three weeks after being forced off the field an hour into Melbourne City’s 2-0 grand-final win over Sydney FC on Sunday.

It’s hoped the 26-year-old will be fit to re-join Alen Stajcic’s squad next month when they return to to ramp up preparations for April’s crucial Asian Cup in Jordan, which doubles as the 2019 World Cup qualifiers.

That will start with a training camp and friendly international against Thailand in Perth on March 26.

“That’s the silver lining in the situation, that it’s the Algarve Cup,” Simon said on Sunday.

“Obviously I want to play in it, but at the same time the biggest thing coming up is the Asian Cup and qualifiers.

“I was feeling really good but disappointed about another little injury.”

Simon joins fellow striker Caitlin Foord on the sidelines and neither will travel with the group on Tuesday evening, the latter ruled out for the next few months.

“We would love to have Kyah and Caitlin with us in Portugal, however it is in their best interests to remain in and continue their respective recoveries,” Stajcic said.

“We’ll have four games over just eight days in Portugal, so the tournament will provide a chance for all the players involved to impress as we move towards the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.”

Teenage Adelaide United midfielder Alex Chidiac will replace Simon in the final 22-player squad for the Algarve Cup, at which will face Norway, hosts Portugal and China PR from February 28.

First-choice goalkeeper Lydia Williams will also be on the plane, having escaped a grand-final collision with both Leena Khamis and Lisa De Vanna with a corked leg.

MATILDAS SQUAD: Lydia Williams, Caitlin Cooper, Hannah Brewer, Clare Polkinghorne, Laura Alleway, Chloe Logarzo, Steph Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight, Emily Condon, Emily van Egmond, Lisa De Vanna, Tameka Butt, Alanna Kennedy, Emily Gielnik, Hayley Raso, Alex Chidiac, Mackenzie Arnold, Katrina Gorry, Sam Kerr, Allie Carpenter, Larissa Crummer, Michelle Heyman.

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