Megan Rapinoe said her goal is to return to the Rio Olympics on Saturday, six weeks after surgery to repair a torn ACL.
“That’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, often times,” Rapinoe, 30 and a 2012 Olympic champion midfielder, said on Fox Sports. “Before that, though, I want to be healthy. When I step on the field, I want to be me. And the team needs that player, and not someone who’s hesitant. So, when I’m ready to do that, I’ll be back out there, and I certainly hope it’s for Rio.”
The midfielder tore her right ACL in training Dec. 4, after tearing an ACL twice in college.
“I want everyone to know that I’ll be fine, and that I’m currently accepting any recommendations for TV shows to binge watch and great restaurants that deliver in Seattle,” Rapinoe, who was one of 10 finalists for the FIFA World Women’s Player of the Year, said in a press release Dec. 5. “I’m also going to get really good at FIFA 16.”
The U.S. women will try to qualify for the Olympics in a CONCACAF tournament in February without Rapinoe and the retired quartet of forward Abby Wambach, midfielders Lauren Holiday and Shannon Boxx and defender Lori Chalupny.
The other 2015 World Cup midfielders were Carli Lloyd, Morgan Brian, Tobin Heath and Heather O’Reilly.
World Cup roster sizes were 23 players, while it’s down to 18 for the Olympics. The Rio Games women’s soccer tournament begins Aug. 3.
MORE SOCCER: Abby Wambach retires, no Rio Olympics