Tokyo Olympics: Team GB goalkeeper Karen Bardsley to miss Games through injury

Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley
Bardsley was Great Britain's goalkeeper at London 2012

Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley has been forced to withdraw from the Great Britain squad for the Tokyo Olympics with an injury.

The Manchester City and England player, 36, is on loan at US side OL Reign.

She picked up an injury in a game against Washington Spirit last month.

"After a difficult road back to fitness and form, being selected for Tokyo felt like the greatest achievement, but to be forced to withdraw feels devastatingly cruel," she said.

"Regardless of the situation, I'll do whatever I can to help my team-mates and Team GB every step along the way. I wish nothing but success for everyone."

Bardsley, who was part of the London 2012 squad and has twice been a World Cup semi-finalist with England, had been named as one of two goalkeepers alongside Ellie Roebuck in Hege Riise's 18-player squad for Tokyo.

A decision on her replacement will be announced in due course.

Great Britain, who reached the quarter-finals at 2012, start their Tokyo campaign against Chile on Wednesday, 21 July, before further Group E games against hosts Japan and 2016 bronze medallists Canada.

Riise said: "Losing Karen is a big blow for us - but more importantly for her. She has been an incredible international goalkeeper for many years and her presence in the squad would have also helped the younger players in the group.

"Of course, this is football and this means an opportunity for someone else to take. The group are very positive about the challenge ahead and can't wait to get started."

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