Bethany England has been included in Sarina Wiegman’s England squad for this summer’s World Cup, while Beth Mead misses out.
Striker England, who has not been involved for her country since last September, is recalled after scoring 12 Women’s Super League goals for Tottenham since joining them from Chelsea in January.
But there is no return for Euro 2022 Golden Boot winner and player of the tournament Mead, having lost her battle against time after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury in November.
Millie Bright and Lucy Bronze, also sidelined of late, do feature in a 23-player list from which skipper Leah Williamson and Fran Kirby had already been ruled out due to injury.
Jordan Nobbs is included as well, despite sustaining an injury in Aston Villa’s penultimate game of the season, Katie Zelem has been brought back after not making the last squad in April and there is no recall for Williamson’s predecessor as captain Steph Houghton.
Jess Park, Maya Le Tissier and Emily Ramsey have been named on standby.
Wiegman admitted she had had a stressful week making “hard decisions” when selecting her squad.
The head coach said: “The last week was a little stressful. We had to make hard decisions.
“It’s nice for the ones that are in and not nice for those who aren’t.
“Lucy Bronze is fit and is fully in training, Millie Bright is in a good place and positive. She is still building but it looks good.”
On Mead’s omission from the squad, Wiegman added: “She is so positive and she’s going really well. But we set the time schedule she had.
“We would have taken so many risks to try and get her to the World Cup. (But) to push her too much (could mean) she gets injured again.”
Wiegman said it was “sad” that top players Mead, Kirby and Williamson had all missed out and confirmed Bright would captain the Lionesses during the tournament.
“Of course, most of all for Williamson, it is very sad but that is the same for Fran (Kirby) and Beth (Mead). You have to move on too. Unfortunately this is a part of top sport. You can get injured,” Wiegman added.
“I think of our opportunities and how we get prepared. We have some injuries, but we still have a very good squad and good squad depth.
“We are talking about the 23 we have and we will get ready with this team.”
Wiegman’s European champions get their campaign at the tournament in Australia and New Zealand under way by facing Haiti in Brisbane on July 22nd and will also take on Denmark and China in Group D.