Lyon's superstar striker Ada Hegerberg faces a long spell out of action after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in training.

The Norwegian landed the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or in December 2018 to reflect her status as the world's leading player, but now she faces a challenging road to recovery.

Hegerberg announced on Twitter: "So here it is. I ruptured my ACL this weekend. This is a setback for me, but I'm going to work through this with all my heart and my energy. The best is yet to come. YOU'LL SEE ME SOON!"

Lyon confirmed the blow, announcing on their website: "Lyon regret the injury to Ada Hegerberg, victim of a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in the right knee, that occurred in training.

"The operation date will be determined in the coming days and the unavailability will be corresponding to the known statistics for this type of injury.

"Lyon will offer Ada the best surgical conditions and post-operation rehabilitation to return her to full strength."

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas sent a message to 24-year-old Hegerberg, writing on Twitter: "You are very strong Ada, on and off the pitch! We're all going to work to get you back in the best condition to return even stronger.

"We'll be at your side, the Lyon women will stay at the highest level waiting for your return."

Lyon sit top of the French women's championship with 38 points from 14 games, and Hegerberg has scored 23 goals in 18 matches across all competitions this season.

She controversially missed last year's World Cup, having made herself unavailable to Norway because of her stance over how women's football is treated in her home country.

Lyon trio Ada Hegerberg, Lucy Bronze and Amandine Henry have been nominated for the UEFA Women's Player of the Year award.

Hegerberg won the inaugural Ballon d'Or Feminin last year and will look to add the UEFA prize to her collection, having finished as runner-up in 2017-18 to Denmark and Wolfsburg striker Pernille Harder.

The 24-year-old dazzled as Lyon won their 13th consecutive French title last season, scoring 20 goals in as many top-flight appearances along with seven in nine Champions League outings – crowning a magnificent campaign with a hat-trick in the 4-1 final victory over Barcelona in Budapest.

However, Hegerberg did not participate in the World Cup, having not represented Norway since the 2017 European Championship due to frustrations over the standing of the women's game in her homeland.

Lyon colleague Bronze did feature in France, playing a starring role in England's second consecutive run to the semi-finals.

The former Manchester City right-back is the first English nominee for the award.

Midfielder Henry completes the nominees having finished third behind Harder and Hegerberg last time around.

Henry was runner-up in 2014-15 and 2015-16 – to Hegerberg on the latter occasion – making her four nominations a new record in the award's seventh year.

United States star Megan Rapinoe and three of her international team-mates are among 12 nominees for the Best FIFA Women's Player Award for 2019.

A first-time recipient will be named in Milan on September 23 after former winners Marta, Lieke Martens and Carli Lloyd all failed to make the shortlist.

Reign FC forward Rapinoe shapes as a strong contender after inspiring USA to glory at the Women's World Cup in France.

The 34-year-old scored six goals in five games, including one in the 2-0 victory over Netherlands in the final, to claim a Golden Ball-Golden Boot double.

Rapinoe's compatriots Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle and Julie Ertz are also in contention, as are England pair Ellen White and Lucy Bronze, who claimed the Silver Ball.

Right-back Bronze and striker Ada Hegerberg, last year's inaugural Women's Ballon d'Or winner, feature among four players from the Lyon side that won the Women's Champions League.

The list of contenders has been expanded to 12 from the usual 10 due to a tie in the number of votes received by some nominees.

 

The Best FIFA Women's Player nominees:

Lucy Bronze (Lyon & England)
Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars & United States)
Caroline Graham Hansen (Barcelona & Norway)
Ada Hegerberg (Lyon)
Amandine Henry (Lyon & France)
Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars & Australia)
Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit & United States)
Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal & Netherlands)
Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride & United States)
Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC & United States)
Wendie Renard (Lyon & France)
Ellen White (Manchester City & England)

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