USWNT star Mallory Swanson left the recent friendly against Ireland with an injury, and the diagnosis was severe. A torn patella tendon in Swanson’s left knee could see the forward out of action in all play through the Women’s World Cup. The injury happened towards the end of the first half in Saturday’s friendly against Ireland. The USWNT won, 2-0. US Soccer did not provide a timetable for Swanson’s return to play.

However, based on the diagnosis, recovery time could be as many as 12 weeks. If Swanson’s injury is a small tear, Swanson could return. The USWNT begins its Women’s World Cup campaign on July 21 when it faces Vietnam. Swanson, a projected starter for that game and the others, may not be available.

That being said, Swanson did remain in high spirits after the game. As the medical professionals carted the forward off the field, she told USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski she would be ready to go.

“Even before we knew what the injury is, when she was walking out, she had this big smile on her face and said, ‘Coach, I’m fine. I’ll be good,'” Andonovski said.

Mallory Swanson potentially out of USWNT World Cup squad with injury

For Swanson, it is simply horrible timing to pick up an injury of this magnitude. On one hand, the World Cup is far enough that she could return. Straining and rushing the recovery could lead to further issues, though. On the other hand, Swanson is on scintillating form. Last season, in the NWSL, Swanson scored 11 goals, which tied for fourth in the league. She tied for the lead in assists last season with six. She finished runner up in the NWSL MVP voting in 2022.

Of course, the USWNT still has ample options up top. Catarina Macario, Sophia Smith, Midge Purce, Trinity Rodman and Lynn Williams could fill in the spot Swanson vacates. Also, Megan Rapinoe will be available, and she has a great track record at the Women’s World Cup.

The first chance to see how the USWNT will respond without Swanson is Tuesday night, in another friendly contest against Ireland.