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Shannon Boxx Out Six to Eight Months with Torn Knee Ligaments

CHICAGO (July 19, 2006) -- U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Shannon Boxx tore the anterior cruciate ligament and the medial collateral ligament in her right knee during training on July 17 and will be out six to eight months. The injury occurred on a collision during a scrimmage.

“It’s a big loss for the team for sure, but we have players who can step up in her place,” said U.S. head coach Greg Ryan. “We know from previous experience that Boxxy is as tough as they come and will work extremely hard to get back. She’s a quick healer and we are optimistic that she’ll be on the field as soon as possible. She is in our plans for 2007.”

Boxx quickly rose to prominence for the U.S. National Team after making the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad without ever previously having earned a cap, and then set a U.S. record by scoring in her first three career matches. The veteran defensive midfielder has since started 58 of the 59 matches she has played for the USA and finished third in the voting for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2005.

At the time of the knee injury, Boxx was just coming back from hip surgery that she underwent in mid-May and likely would have been ready for the USA’s match this Sunday, July 23, against Ireland in San Diego. Kickoff is 1 p.m. PT at Torero Stadium (tickets) and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and available online via’s MatchTracker.

“It is obviously a downer,” said Boxx. “I was definitely ready and excited to get back with the team and play a couple minutes against Ireland this weekend. To have another setback was very difficult to handle, and it’s still difficult, but having the support of my teammates telling me that I was going to come back better and stronger really put me in a good mood today, even though the outcome of the MRI was bad. I know I have the support of the coaching staff and I know our medical staff will do a great job getting me back and ready to play.”

Boxx’ injury was a bit more serious than a standard ACL tear due to the complications that arose from the medial collateral ligament tear. Boxx will have to undergo two separate surgeries, the first this week to repair the MCL, which tore away from the bone, and second approximately six weeks later to repair the ACL. Due to the double surgeries, Boxx’ recovery time will be a bit longer than what is typically expected for an ACL rehabilitation and should extend anywhere from six to eight months.

Boxx will miss qualifying for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in late November of this year, but should the USA qualify, will be playing well in advance of the tournament, which will be staged Sept. 10-30, 2007, in five Chinese cities.