Steph Houghton is facing a race against time to be fit for this summer’s Women’s European Championship.
The England and Manchester City captain had an operation on her Achilles a fortnight ago – having missed the Lionesses’ Arnold Clark Cup win – following a recurrence of an injury that she initially sustained last September.
Any hope of Houghton returning to boost City’s Women’s Super League campaign looks to be over and the 33-year-old defender is instead focused on a comeback at Euro 2022, which runs from July 6-31 in England.
Indeed, City head coach Gareth Taylor revealed Houghton is likely to be unavailable for England’s pre-Euro friendlies against Belgium and Holland in June.
“I think that’s going to be really difficult for Steph to make,” Taylor said in quotes on City’s website. “Her goal is to try and get to the Euros.
“There is nothing further to add on Steph from when we have spoken previously. She is continuing with her rehabilitation after surgery.
“We understand as a club and Steph understands that it’s going to be really tight.
1 week post-op! 🤕— Steph Houghton MBE (@stephhoughton2) March 1, 2022
More motivated to work harder than ever to be back on the pitch doing what I love! ⏳
Comeback soon! 🔋💪🏼
Thank you for those that messaged over the last week!
Means the world! x pic.twitter.com/6fLXIsLGo6
“We will support her as best we can. It will be another three weeks until we can assess and see where she is at.”
Houghton was forced to withdraw from Sarina Wiegman’s first England squad six months ago and while she made a comeback in January, a relapse led to the centre-back going under the knife.
Houghton is still yet to play under Wiegman, with Leah Williamson, Millie Bright and Ellen White having worn the England armband in her absence.