Marta Confirms Surgery For Knee Injury And Says She'll Be Out ‘For A While’

After coming off injured in the 31st minute of the Orlando Pride's 1-0 NWSL Challenge Cup defeat to North Carolina on Saturday, six-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta confirmed the worst on her Instagram account Monday morning — the Brazilian legend has suffered a knee ligament injury and will undergo surgery. 

Marta said she'll be out "for a while," but the 36-year-old also said "now it's time to focus on my recovery to get back to doing what I love most, representing my country, my people and my team."

The Pride picked up Marta's option for the 2022 season, but this was rumored to be her last in Orlando. She was named captain of the squad as the team forged a new direction under manager Amanda Cromwell, but there's no concrete news on how severe the injury is or when Marta will return to action. The Challenge Cup final is on May 7, and the beginning of the regular season overlaps with a start date of April 29.   

Marta reportedly injured her left knee while contesting an aerial with Denise O'Sullivan in the 19th minute. She came down awkwardly and left the field under her own power before coming back on in the 22nd minute. Worryingly, she went down again in the 29th before being replaced by Mikayla Cluff. 

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Marta also figured to star again for Brazil at the 2022 Copa América Femenina in Colombia between July 8 and 30 while she approaches Scotland's Julie Fleeting and Germany's Birgit Prinz on the all-time scoring chart. The top three finishers at the Copa qualify directly for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, so the Canarinhas will be sweating over the fitness of their captain.

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