Hegerberg set for return after 20 months out injured

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Lyon, Oct 4, 2021 (AFP) - Former women's Ballon d'Or winner Ada Hegerberg is set to return following a 20-month injury absence after being named on Monday in Lyon's squad for this week's Champions League game at Hacken.

The 26-year-old Norway attacker has been out of action since January 2020 after rupturing a cruciate ligament in her right knee and then suffering a left tibia stress fracture.

"We're obviously delighted over the return of Ada after such a long absence. It's very good news," Lyon coach Sonia Bompastor told a press conference.

Tuesday's match in Sweden will be on an artificial pitch, which could affect the decision to play Hegerberg - the all-time record scorer in the Champions League with 53 goals.

"Anything is possible and we'll see based on the match situation," said Bompastor.

"You can imagine she's delighted to be back in the group. She's doing well. If I consider her in the squad of 21 players it's because she's 100 percent mentally and physically. I have no fears for her."

Hegerberg won the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or award in 2018, but Bompastor admitted she will need time to rediscover her best form after a long lay-off.

"It will take patience. The idea is that she gets her senses back little by little and it's our job to put her in the best conditions.

"Ada is a competitor. Mentally, she's very strong. Don't worry about her, she will come back very quickly and will do what is necessary to achieve that."

The women's Champions League has introduced a group stage for the first time this season.

Lyon are the record seven-time European champions, but their streak of five straight Champions League titles was ended in the quarter-finals last season by Paris Saint-Germain, who also pipped Lyon to the French crown.

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Hegerberg set for return after 20 months out injured
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