England captain Millie Bright expects to be fit for the start of the Lionesses’ World Cup campaign next month as she recovers from knee surgery.
The Chelsea defender has not featured for club or country since March.
However, Bright was still selected as her nation’s skipper for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand after Leah Williamson suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Bright will not be involved when England face Portugal in a warm-up friendly on Saturday, but is hoping to face Haiti in her side’s opening game of the group stage on July 22 in Brisbane.
“I think we are a little bit ahead (of schedule) actually,” Brighton told reporters on Tuesday.
“Coming into it, there’s a big chunk of time before the first game, so we’re really confident and everything is going exactly the way we wanted it to go.”
Rather than being concerned by the long lay-off ahead of the World Cup, the 29-year-old believes she will be rested and refreshed after a gruelling 12 months.
Bright was a key figure as England won Euro 2022 on home soil last summer and helped Chelsea to a Women’s Super League and FA Cup double.
“I think the amount of minutes I’ve played leading up to this has been ridiculous, through the roof, so if anything I feel mentally and physically fresher than I’ve ever felt,” she added.
“I can’t remember the last time I had longer than two weeks off. It’s been a fair few years now.
“A blessing in disguise I call it, that I’ve mentally and physically been able to completely just have a clean slate and let my body recover.”
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