Fran Kirby Chelsea 2022-23Getty Images

Chelsea extend Fran Kirby's contract despite knee injury that has ruled England talisman out of 2023 World Cup

  • Kirby sidelined since February
  • Granted new one-year deal
  • Chelsea's top scorer after eight years

WHAT HAPPENED? The England international has been sidelined since February with a knee injury sustained against West Ham, ruling her out for the remainder of the WSL season and the upcoming Women's World Cup. While Kirby has made just 13 appearances across all competitions this campaign, Chelsea have recognised the importance of the 29-year-old, and have triggered a one-year extension on her current deal.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite not playing a single minute since the knee issue picked up in the Continental Cup semi-final on February 9, Kirby's seven goals and one assist have aided yet another Chelsea push for league and cup glory. The forward has become synonymous with the Blues since signing from Reading in 2015, becoming the club's top goalscorer with 110 goals in 175 appearances and racking up a total of 13 titles.

DID YOU KNOW? Kirby became the first female to win the 2017/18 FWA Player of the Year award, after her 25 goals in all competitions also landed her the PFA award that same season.

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Fran Kirby Chelsea 2020-21Getty ImagesFran Kirby Chelsea 2021-22Getty ImagesFran Kirby England 2022Getty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR KIRBY? The Chelsea star will have to watch on from sidelines as she cheers on the Lionesses in Australia and New Zealand this summer, before she is able to return to action for the Blues next campaign.