OL Reign star Megan Rapinoe underwent successful surgery to repair a torn Achilles on Wednesday, the team announced. Here’s what you need to know:
- Rapinoe suffered the injury just two minutes and 25 seconds into Sunday’s NWSL Championship against NY/NJ Gotham FC. Gotham won the final 2-1.
- Stepping in to make a challenge against a Gotham defender with possession, Rapinoe appeared to slip with her right leg buckling underneath her. She walked off on her own power at the six-minute mark.
- OL Reign said the surgery was performed by Dr. O’Malley in New York City. Rapinoe retired and Saturday was her final professional game.
Rapinoe had a feeling she injured her Achilles as soon as it happened.
The NWSL Championship was supposed to be a storybook ending for the now-retired USWNT star. But two minutes and 25 seconds into the game Saturday against Gotham FC, Rapinoe’s two-decade career ended with a pop.
“I was feeling good. I was actually feeling some of my best I felt all season these last couple of weeks. I wasn’t feeling tight in my calf or Achilles or anything,” Rapinoe said after the game. “So in classic form, I was like, ‘F—, who just kicked me?’ There’s nobody, I’m the one pressing, there’s nobody around me. So, I had that immediate thought.”
The injury came three months after Rapinoe missed a penalty kick in the World Cup in one of her final games with the national team. Her finale as a professional footballer wasn’t representative of her career, which included two World Cup titles, an Olympic gold medal and the 2019 Ballon d’Or as well as several off-field accomplishments in equality and the advancement of women’s sports.
“I guess I just rode it until the wheels came right off,” Rapinoe said. “You don’t always get perfect endings, but I’ve also had so many perfect endings.”
Fortunately for Rapinoe, retirement means more time to recover. Though, in classic Rapinoe fashion, she expressed frustration about the difficulty of recovery without the professional environment.
“I’m most upset that I’m now a NARP, a normal a– regular person, having to do rehab,” she said. — Emily Olsen, senior soccer editor
(Photo: Kyle Terada / USA Today)