Hibs Ladies have been dealt a major setback with confirmation that winger Lizzie Arnot will miss the rest of the 2017 season after rupturing her anterior cruciate knee ligament.
The Scotland internationalist suffered the injury almost three weeks ago, just days after playing the full 90 minutes as the national team were beaten 5-0 by Belgium in Leuven.
Arnot broke down during a training session with the Capital side in preparation for a SWPL 1 league clash with Hamilton Accies in what Hibees boss Chris Roberts described as a “freak accident”.
The 21-year-old will now miss this summer’s European Championships in the Netherlands, with Scotland drawn in Group D alongside England, Spain and Portugal. She is, however, scheduled to undergo an operation later this month to repair the damage.
Roberts admits the news has come as a bitter blow to both club and country but is confident Arnot will be back pulling on a green-and-white jersey next season.
“It’s a huge blow and it’s going to be a tough period for Lizzie,” said the Hibs manager. “But she’s young, resilient and has a bright future in the game. She only has to look at Fiona Brown who has had two ACL operations and is currently playing full-time football in Sweden. She was also Scotland’s best player last season so she’s a really good example of how you can recover and respond to a bad injury.
“Lizzie is surrounded by good people at the club and has a very supportive family so I have every confidence she’ll make a good recovery. She’s a brilliant person who is really switched on.
“But from a club’s perspective you can’t replace Lizzie. Over the last two seasons she has had involvement in 50 per cent of our goals through scoring herself or providing an assist. But the team this year have been scoring goals from all over the park so we’re looking at it positively. The players have stepped up and ones like Abi Harrison have been right on form.”