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U.S. Forward Abby Wambach to Miss Beijing Olympics After Breaking Leg in Final Match Before Heading to China

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (July 16, 2008) -- U.S. Women’s National Team forward Abby Wambach suffered a mid-shaft oblique fracture of the tibia and fibula, the two bones that make up the lower leg, in a 31st minute collision with a Brazilian defender during the USA’s 1-0 victory tonight and will miss the 2008 Olympics.

Wambach was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital where X-Rays confirmed the fracture in her left leg. She will have surgery tomorrow morning to have a titanium rod inserted. She will be on crutches for several weeks before the leg is weight-bearing, at which time she will start rehabilitation. Injuries of this sort usually require a 12-week recovery.

“I want to thank all the fans, the doctors, the players on the team and Tasha Kai for scoring the winning goal,” said Wambach from the emergency room. ”Obviously, it’s devastating, but above everything else, I’m only one player, and you can never win a championship with just one player. I have the utmost confidence in this team bringing home the gold.”

Wambach is the USA’s leading scorer this year with 13 goals and 10 assists. She has led the team in scoring in the last three world championships and is one of the top scorers in U.S. history with 99 goals in 127 games.

“I’m excited to watch them and cheer them on during this challenge they’ve been presented with,” said Wambach. “It’s really going to take everyone coming together. I love them all so much, and appreciate so many people involved with this game and the team. I put my heart and soul into this game every day, but sometimes accidents happen. I’ve gotten so many calls already, and I just want to say how much I appreciate that.”