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MacMillan Likely to Miss World Cup

May 19, 2003

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Forward Shannon MacMillan has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee and likely will miss the Women’s World Cup later this year.

MacMillan, a star on the U.S. national team, was hurt Sunday night playing for the San Diego Spirit of the WUSA.

She’s expected to have reconstructive surgery Wednesday to repair the completely torn ACL, a partially torn medial collateral ligament and some cartilage damage.

It usually takes at least six months to recover from an ACL injury, and the Women’s World Cup is currently scheduled from mid-September to early October.

Sepp Blatter, the president of soccer’s governing body, has called the United States the ``front-runner″ to take over the 16-nation championship, which had been scheduled in China, but will be moved because of SARS.

MacMillan has scored 58 career goals in 153 games for the U.S. women’s team.

``I can speak for the whole team when I say that we are very disappointed for Shannon that the injury comes at this time in her long and illustrious career,″ women’s national coach April Heinrichs said in a statement. ``The most difficult thing to swallow is that she is playing the best soccer of her career. As a coaching staff, we would be hard-pressed to find a more committed and focused player right now, and the injury couldn’t come at worse time for Shannon and our team.″

MacMillan was hurt eight minutes into the Spirit’s match against the Boston Breakers on Sunday night. She was reaching for a free ball with her left leg while planting with her right, which buckled and sent MacMillan to the ground.

MacMillan is the Spirit’s career leading scorer with 18 goals and 17 assists.

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